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Barton House Historic Area

barton-house(1)Caleb Barton was born in 1812 and later became a very prominent local businessman, in 1855, he built this handsome residence and in the same year a group of citizens held the first fair in Barton’s field.

The faithful restoration by the Fair’s Board of Directors has preserved a fine example of mid-nineteenth century Pennsylvania architecture and an extremely important element of Fair and local history. Caleb Barton House as you now see it is the result of much detective work, expert advice and many hours of painstaking restoration.

Wherever possible, the interior and exterior paint colors have been selected to match the original. Wallpaper and carpeting are documented styles in use during the period. While quite different from current styles, they accurately reflect the tastes of our Victorian forebears. Shutters, shutter hardware, stenciling and grained woodwork are further examples of careful research and reproduction by skilled local craftspersons.

Fireplaces in the living and dining rooms are original, while the large kitchen fireplace has been reconstructed in its original style and location. As you leave through the kitchen, note the water pump on the back porch and the stylish “necessary house” on your right.

We hope you enjoy seeing the work in progress and will look forward to another visit next year to view the furnishings which will complete the project.

Jay H. Fritz, Jr.
Barton House Project Consultant

We are extremely proud of our 162 year-old house, and eager to share its architectural treasures with you.

As you walk through the building, pay attention to the lye and water-treated floors, the whitewashed ceilings, period wallpaper, and pine woodwork. Some of the original colors used to decorate the house, which was built in 1855, were found on an ancient shutter that had been hidden from daylight in a corner of the attic. Also rediscovered were the fireplaces, key plates, and, in one room, an old pane of glass on which someone, possibly using the diamond on the bride’s engagement ring, had scratched the Bartons’ wedding date.

Restorer Larry Sweeney of Orangeville has uncovered many aspects of The Barton House during the years he has been working to return it to its original condition. During this time. Jay Fritz Jr., a Bloomsburg antiques dealer and broker, has succeeded in furnishing the home with pictures and wall coverings. The work that Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Fritz have done has created the impression that Mr. and Mrs. Barton are just gone for the day. perhaps to visit neighbors, and will return by twilight.

Should Caleb and his family come home later today, they would find a luxury unheard of in most American houses constructed before the Civil War: numerous closets, each with ample space. History doesn’t tell us who decided to install the closets, which must have been great novelties in their day. Whoever was responsible clearly was a homey and practical person with plenty of foresight.

More than 1250 visitors stop by The Barton House every day during Fair Week. Approximately 10,000 visitors toured the Barton House in 2009.

There are many stories about our marvelous old house. One relates that in weddings held at Barton House, possibly conducted on the front porch, the bride carried a bouquet of wildflowers gathered from nearby fields. It is hoped that at some future time, the grounds will be restored to the period.

Historic Garden

Historic Barton House has an extensive garden planted and tended by members of the Fishing Creek Herb Guild, with hundreds of heirloom perennials, vegetables and herbs. The garden, started in 2000, displays flowers, herbs and vegetables commonly used in the 1850s. Each year brings something different. We also have vegetable and scent quizzes to test your knowledge.

Herb Guild members meet regularly through the spring and summer for planting, weeding and watering. Each spring compost is added making the garden soil extremely Fertile. In 2008 we added a chicken coop with real laying hens.

When you visit, please ask for some free seeds from our morning glories and cleomes (spider plant.)

Barton House Schedule

Every day 10am to 6pm there will be guides in the garden to discuss our plants and answer any questions. We will have free seeds to give away.

Saturday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.
A dulcimer musician will be strolling the grounds.
Sunday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
1:00pm – Old fashion sauerkraut making on the back porch.
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.
Monday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
11:00am – Making horseradish on the back porch.
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.
A dulcimer musician will be strolling the grounds.
Tuesday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
10am to 2pm – Children from the Southern Columbia School District Enrichment Program will be portraying the Barton Family children.
11am – Butter making in a glass butter churn. All are welcome to help.
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.
Wednesday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.
Thursday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.
Friday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
11:00am – Soap Making
Liam’s Woodworking…how to make useful utensils and other creative handmade wooden items – Live Demo Area.
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.
A dulcimer musician will be strolling the grounds.
Saturday House open 10:00am to 6:00pm
Liam’s Woodworking…how to make useful utensils and other creative handmade wooden items – Live Demo Area.
A Civil War physician will be set up on the lawn.