This Saturday, the 230-Year-Old Stark Barn begins a new chapter. The barn built by the Revolutionary War’s Gen. John Stark opens as the Barn at Stark Farms. Stark, a veteran of the battles of Bunker Hill and Bennington, built the barn in the late 1700’s. Its first home? Dunbarton. Its new home? Odessa.
Retired Odessa resident John Zumwalt III bought the barn in 2013. Then, he had the barn dismantled, moved to Odessa and then restored and reassembled! The Stark Barn becomes a living history center and lodging house. Featuring colonial-era crafts and farming education, it’s perhaps the oldest barn in Florida.
“It’s a little bit of treasure in Hillsborough County,” Zumwalt told Tampa Bay Times.
"Your blood pressure seems to drop the moment you step inside the Stark Barn." https://t.co/Tdq4l1Sp6N
— Chris O'Donnell (@codonnell_Times) May 2, 2018
The state recognizes the the Kingsley Plantation Barn/Stable/Carriage House in Duval County as Florida’s oldest barn. Yet, that was built in 1800. Relocated structures rarely qualify for historic designation, but the Stark Barn is sure to become a tourist destination in Odessa regardless.
Inside, The Barn at Stark Farms now features five lodging rooms for tourists, a small chapel (weddings?) a kitchen and a dining area. Planned demonstrations include braiding rugs, soap making, and sewing. Expect hay rides and a petting zoo too!
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