Overwhelmed with support | News, Sports, Jobs

Submitted photo
Letters are painted onto the side of the ‘Biden Barn’ in Brown Township. The barn was felled in what police believe is an arson last Saturday morning, but the owners say they plan to rebuild and have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support they’ve received.


REEDSVILLE — A local family was struck with an overwhelming amount of support by their community after their barn burned down a week ago. Even though the barn caused political arguments due to the painted words “Biden” and “Harris” on the side in large blue lettering, the gathering and support of the community did not take political sides. Many stopped by to mourn the remains of the barn and apologize to the family for the tragic event.

Robin and Lawrence “Larry” Herst moved into their home in Reedsville roughly nine years ago, with part of their decision being the barn located on the property. Robin and Larry had dreamed of one day putting a business in that barn.

The barn was roughly a century old, and would take a lot of work to turn into a business. The goal was a country craft store that would have an outdoor patio for people to sit out and enjoy coffee, tea, and different pastries that would be served there. They wanted the business to be a place for families, that would hold community events, outdoor movies in the summer and more.

“It needed some work done … but it was in good shape and was workable” said Robin.

The family cleared out the barn this past summer of anything that was in it and got to work painting the barn. Larry and daughter Brianna Goss’s husband Troy Goss, outlined words “Joe Biden” and “Harris” on the side of the barn with painters tape before getting to work painting. Not everyone was supportive of the message they started to see being painted on the barn. Unsupportive people driving by would start yelling and swearing. The family stated they’ve had trash thrown in their yard, their house egged, the barn vandalized, threats to burn the barn down and even a failed attempt to burn it down back in October.

Although the family received hate for the paint job, they also received a lot of support and appreciation.

Many people appreciated the family for doing something so bold. The family explained how there were numerous times that people would stop and ask for approval to take pictures with the barn.

In the fall, the family met state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, at a rally held locally. Kenyatta, a Democrat whose district is in Philadelphia, wanted to do a photoshoot for his Senate campaign in front of the barn sometime in February.

When Kenyatta heard about the burning of the barn, he called the family the next day. It was his idea to start a GoFundMe for the family to rebuild the barn. He worked with a close friend,…

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