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Ask 13: What's the history of the demolished Fletcher barn?

"Was the barn owned by the City of Fletcher?" Arrington wrote. "If so, why was it demolished? Do you know the history of that beautiful structure and what it could have meant to the Town of Fletcher?" (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

The demolition of an old barn in the Town of Fletcher has fired up a local history buff.

Local resident Michael Arrington noticed the big, old barn was coming down on Howard Gap Road, and it troubled him enough to write to Ask 13.

"Was the barn owned by the City of Fletcher?" Arrington wrote. "If so, why was it demolished? Do you know the history of that beautiful structure and what it could have meant to the Town of Fletcher?"

News 13 went to locate the old barn just across the railroad tracks on Howard Gap, before Fletcher Park. Arrington said he'd been driving past the barn all his life and can't remember not seeing the landmark.

Fletcher's town manager said the barn doesn't belong to them, but they did try to buy it a few years ago. It's now owned by an individual who's apparently, according to workers on site, salvaging and selling the barn's lumber.

As for the history, News 13 learned from land records it was built sometime in the 1920s. It belonged to a dairy farmer for many years who was well-known in the community.

But what happened after that is what really gives the barn some colorful historical significance.

"In 1949 W. H. Anderson was instrumental in bringing polo to Fletcher," Richard Wilson, of the Henderson County Genealogical and Historical Society, said. "The polo field was across the road from the barn where the new charter school is located. The barn was used to house the horses."

Richard even sent News 13 some old news clippings from the Asheville Citizen-Times to prove it. The first polo match was held in May of 1949 and again in 1950. But that was the year W.H. Anderson died, and polo wasn't played again until 1952 in Hominy Valley.

So, it appears the barn does have some history behind it, which could make its lumber all the more valuable for its current owner.

Attempts to reach him for comment on this story were unsuccessful.

If you have a question you'd like answered, write to Ask13@WLOS.com.

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