SULLIVAN — For 41 years, performances at the Farmstead Barn in Sullivan entertained generations of children.
Owned by Ginia Davis Wexler, who passed away in 2017, the Farmstead Barn closed its doors in 2012. Now it has some new owners who say they want to restore the space.
“We have some ideas for what we’d like to do,” said Judy Ashby, who along with her husband, Ray Weintraub, bought the property in October. “My husband would like to take the theater and make it into a place that could be used for events or weddings.
“We’d like to bring back the community, the importance that it had around here.”
Ashby and Weintraub, who currently live in New York, first found the property last summer, and they began to learn a bit about the Farmstead Barn’s history.
“Ginia Wexler seems like she was such a fascinating person, and it’s been an exciting project to uncover the history around here,” Ashby said. “It has such a creative energy around it; it just feels like it’s filled with stories and inspiration, like it just wants to be alive again.”
From puppeteers, jugglers, musicians and even a Maine state yo-yo champion, the Farmstead Barn served as a performing arts venue that offered free entertainment for local children. Wexler herself was a tireless supporter of the arts who would teach art lessons at the barn and attend Wednesday night concerts at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, founded by her eponymous uncle.
Ashby and Weintraub, who have been up to visit Sullivan this winter, plan to move there permanently in the spring.
“We met some of our neighbors and it was such a warm and welcoming feeling. It just confirmed that it was the right choice,” Ashby said. “We’ve connected with the new owners of the Dunbar’s Store. It’s been fun to see that there’s this new growth in the area that is also honoring the past.”