LIVERMORE  — Former Wausau Paper mill worker Richard Ciarcia of Livermore has taken on a summer project that others may not contemplate: dismantling a four-story barn.

Ciarcia, 59, is taking apart the late-1800s barn that sits near the corner of Hathaway Hill and Crash roads in North Livermore. He plans to use the materials to build a barn or garage on his nearby property.

The barn was part of Tenney’s General Store and Post Office, built in 1855. The house is being dismantled by Rob and Bernice Ray of Greene who plan to build a new house with those materials, said Dennis Stires, who owns the land and formerly owned the structures.

Stires, a historian who lives next door, envisioned restoring the store and post office to its 1920s glory in 2005. It had been named by Maine Preservation Inc. of Portland to the 2005 list of Maine’s Most Endangered Properties.

The plan was to have schoolchildren visit to learn about life back then. But because of safety concerns and costs, Stires decided it was best to take the building down.

He sold the house and barn to Ciarcia and the Rays. There was no exchange of money in the deals, just the dismantling agreement.

Ciarcia has been working on the project since late spring. When Wausau Paper announced it was permanently closing its Otis Mill in Jay, Ciarcia decided he needed a big summer project, a big chore.

“I thought there was a fair enough amount of wood here I could salvage to make a barn or garage,” he said.

He had worked at the mill for 23 years. Prior to that, he worked for about eight years at DeCoster’s egg farm in Turner. He and his son, Jesse, are taking a nine-month course in September at Maine School of Masonry in Avon.

The rugged old barn had 30-foot-long, 8- by 8-inch, hand-hewn beams running from the basement to the attic. Pegs and square-headed nails were used throughout the construction.

The 130-year-old timbers were well-protected and are in good shape, Ciarcia said. The barn also has an open back cellar and a granite wall in the front. The flooring in one section of the main floor was tripled up in a quarter of the space to house the carriage horses, he said.

“The hardest part I had was taking the roof off, because I had to take the metal roofing off first,” Ciarcia said. “It’s the first barn I’ve taken down. I just like taking it apart piece by piece, and by taking it apart that way, it will make you a better carpenter.”

Some old paper removed from under the clapboards in the front lower portion of the barn was made roughly in the 1880s at the Umbagog Pulp Mill, which formerly sat on the banks of the Androscoggin River in Livermore, Stires said.

Maine’s Paper & Heritage Museum had some 1890-dated paper donated and it matched what was on the building, he said. It was made on the No. 10 paper machine that had been moved to the Otis Mill when International Paper Co. owned it.

“I almost flipped when (museum director) Sherry (Judd) showed the donated paper to me because it was the same as this,” Stires said, holding a piece of the material. “So I was thrilled.”

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Richard Ciarcia of Livermore, a former Wausau Paper worker, sits Tuesday on one of the hand-hewn beams that he has dismantled from a historical barn in Livermore to make a new barn or garage at his nearby house.

Historian Dennis Stires of Livermore stands outside the former Tenney’s Store and Post Office in North Livermore on Tuesday. Richard Ciarcia of Livermore, a former Wausau Paper worker, is dismantling the barn and a Greene couple is dismantling the house. They plan to build new structures with the materials.

Some early paper made at a former Livermore pulp mill was found under clapboards of a late 1800s barn that is being dismantled in Livermore.


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