Historic Building in Jeopardy

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

April 21, 2005

In 1929, on his way to his vacation home, President Herbert Hoover strolled through a Madison County barn.

Ten thousand people, more than the population of the county at the time, came out to greet him, but now this piece of history is in danger.

"Some want to keep the barn, and some want to take it down and use the property for other things," said Peter Williams.

Williams is spearheading an organization to save the barn. Recently, the barn was bought by the county. Now it is sandwiched between soccer fields, and some think the barn is in the way of building yet another soccer field, but Williams has a different vision for the barn's future .

He sees it as possibly a concession stand area for the soccer players and a place for assembly.

"You could have meetings there, picnics there, art things there," said Williams. Through donations, Williams' organization called Friends of Hoover Ridge Barn would renovate the barn and then give it to the county as a gift.

What Williams does for a living explains his passion to save the building.

"We build a lot of barns, horse barns. I like barns and I don't like to see them torn down," said Williams, who owns P.J. Williams, a barn building company.

Now the landmark's fate is up to the county board of supervisors, but so far, "the ball is rolling," said Williams.

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