The Shakori Hills Community Arts Center is saddened to announce that the Coffee Barn was severely damaged by storms on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. The 175-year-old willow oak that stood beside the Coffee Barn was toppled by high winds and the barn took a direct hit. No injuries occured and power to the property was restored by emergency crews from Duke Energy.
Even if you have only visited Shakori Hills once, you know this tree as a centerpiece of the property and a gathering place for generations. The tree weighs roughly 50 tons and we are still assessing the full extent of the damage.
“First and foremost, we are thankful no one was hurt. Our street team was holding a weekly meeting in the main house so we were able to address the issue promptly,” said Carol Woodell, President of the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center.
Woodell continued, “It is still too early to tell if the Coffee Barn is a total loss. We are assessing the damage with the proper authorities and will make a determination as to the future of the structure based on their feedback.”
In the meantime, the nonprofit organization is asking community members who would like to support in the cleanup effort to donate via the organization’s home page www.shakorihills.org.
The site will host four upcoming festivals expected to draw thousands, including: The Big What? Aug. 16 – 18; Hoppin’ John Old-Time and Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention, Sept. 13 – 15; Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance, Oct. 4 – 7; REI’s Outessa Fest, Oct. 20.
“We do not expect this to interrupt our upcoming festivals and are working to remove debris and secure the barn for the safety of all our visitors,“ Woodell said.
She continued, “We are truly humbled by the outpouring of love and support by our Chatham County citizens and those beyond. Many of us consider Shakori Hills our home away from home and embrace the spirit of community our beautiful 72-acre site provides.”
The statuesque trees on the property remind us to slow down and look up for a moment in this busy world. Each old oak has its own twisted limbs and characteristics that project its elegance. We are saddened to see such a beautiful piece of Shakori Hills fall, but we hope to re-purpose much of it for others to enjoy for years to come.
We will release more details as they become available.