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Mad River Barn

History of the Mad River Barn

Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant, & PubThe Mad River Barn has been a fixture in the Mad River Valley for many years. We’ve been told it began its commercial operation as a bunk house for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. It was converted to an Inn in late 1940’s or early 1950’s by Les and Alice Billings, before it was acquired by the founders of Mad River Glen in the late 1970’s. Betsy Pratt took over operations of the Barn following her husband’s passing, and ran it until December 31st, 2012, when she sold it to Andrew and Heather Lynds. 

Andrew and Heather selected the Mad River Valley as the place to call home, following a very nomadic lifestyle resulting from careers in the software industry.  Originally from Kansas and Michigan respectively, Andrew and Heather  met in Michigan, moved to New Jersey, then to a different town in New Jersey, then west to Illinois, then back east to Connecticut, then south to Brazil, then back  to Michigan, then across to California, then back east to Kansas, then further east to Connecticut, until finally landing in beautiful north west Vermont. They don’t plan to move again, though Andrew is an excellent packer. He can do amazing things with a moving truck.

They had been planning for some time to purchase an Inn. The last move to Connecticut was to accommodate a new position Heather accepted with Oracle Corporation in Stamford. Andrew took that opportunity to complete a culinary training program at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City, as preparation for managing an Inn. While living in Connecticut, Heather was surfing the web and stumbled upon an article in the New York Times describing the Mad River Valley, and in particular, the Mad River Barn. It sounded amazing. They scheduled a trip in October 2012, had an accepted offer December 12th, and closed December 31st. Then the real work began…

Mad River Barn Salvage DesignThat first season was tough. The Barn is an amazing place, with a great vibe. But it was in rough shape. The only working piece of equipment in the commercial kitchen was the stove. There were active leaks, outdated plumbing and wiring, and beds held together by rope and blocks of wood. Andrew and Heather made it through the ski season, and then closed for renovations until December 26, 2013.

The renovations affected every aspect of the Barn and the Farmhouse and were conducted with extreme care to maintain the history and character of the buildings. What they took out, they saved and put back in, sometimes in novel ways. They replaced the electrical wiring, heating system, plumbing system, installed new insulation, new windows, structural supports, and upgraded the guest rooms to a more modern standard of living. They also completely renovated the commercial kitchen, in order to facilitate operation of a full-time restaurant. The Barn is back, and it’s here to stay, and Andrew and Heather are proud to carry on the tradition.


History of the Mad River Barn

Mad River Barn Inn, Restaurant, & PubThe Mad River Barn has been a fixture in the Mad River Valley for many years. We’ve been told it began its commercial operation as a bunk house for the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. It was converted to an Inn in late 1940’s or early 1950’s by Les and Alice Billings, before it was acquired by the founders of Mad River Glen in the late 1970’s. Betsy Pratt took over operations of the Barn following her husband’s passing, and ran it until December 31st, 2012, when she sold it to Andrew and Heather Lynds. 

Andrew and Heather selected the Mad River Valley as the place to call home, following a very nomadic lifestyle resulting from careers in the software industry.  Originally from Kansas and Michigan respectively, Andrew and Heather  met in Michigan, moved to New Jersey, then to a different town in New Jersey, then west to Illinois, then back east to Connecticut, then south to Brazil, then back  to Michigan, then across to California, then back east to Kansas, then further east to Connecticut, until finally landing in beautiful north west Vermont. They don’t plan to move again, though Andrew is an excellent packer. He can do amazing things with a moving truck.

They had been planning for some time to purchase an Inn. The last move to Connecticut was to accommodate a new position Heather accepted with Oracle Corporation in Stamford. Andrew took that opportunity to complete a culinary training program at the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) in New York City, as preparation for managing an Inn. While living in Connecticut, Heather was surfing the web and stumbled upon an article in the New York Times describing the Mad River Valley, and in particular, the Mad River Barn. It sounded amazing. They scheduled a trip in October 2012, had an accepted offer December 12th, and closed December 31st. Then the real work began…

Mad River Barn Salvage DesignThat first season was tough. The Barn is an amazing place, with a great vibe. But it was in rough shape. The only working piece of equipment in the commercial kitchen was the stove. There were active leaks, outdated plumbing and wiring, and beds held together by rope and blocks of wood. Andrew and Heather made it through the ski season, and then closed for renovations until December 26, 2013.

The renovations affected every aspect of the Barn and the Farmhouse and were conducted with extreme care to maintain the history and character of the buildings. What they took out, they saved and put back in, sometimes in novel ways. They replaced the electrical wiring, heating system, plumbing system, installed new insulation, new windows, structural supports, and upgraded the guest rooms to a more modern standard of living. They also completely renovated the commercial kitchen, in order to facilitate operation of a full-time restaurant. The Barn is back, and it’s here to stay, and Andrew and Heather are proud to carry on the tradition.