The aging structures will soon get much-needed renovations thanks to the Board of Commissioners’ approval of an about $1.5 million construction contract.
PBG Builders will perform the improvements, which will include strengthening the foundations of some buildings and completely rebuilding others “using historically appropriate techniques and materials,” said Eddie Canon, director of Cobb’s parks department.
The funds that will keep Hyde Farm’s structures standing for years to come were included in the 2011 SPLOST project list.
Canon said a goat house, a hog shed and a corn crib are among the 12 historic buildings PBG Builders will revamp.
“All of the farm buildings are in various states of deterioration,” he said.
The Power-Hyde House, which sits in the middle of the park off Lower Roswell Road near the Chattahoochee River, was built on the farm’s grounds about 1840, Canon said.
Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the district in which Hyde Farm is located, said the process of restoring Hyde Farm has been ongoing since the county purchased its portion of the land.
Cobb County purchased its 42.5-acre piece of Hyde Farm in 2009 for $5 million, and the National Park Service added the remaining 53 acres to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in 2010 for $4.5 million.
The county used funds authorized under the 2006 parks bond program to buy the farm’s central area, which is surrounded on three sides by the National Park Service’s property, Canon said.
Ott said the renovations are just the next step in a long-term effort to turn the park into a destination.
“The idea would be that this is basically going to be a working farm to see what farming life was like in Cobb County during that time frame,” Ott said.
PBG spent several days over the course of two months scouring the farm’s buildings, Canon said, and reported its findings to the county before commissioners awarded it the development contract this week.
Hyde Farm was last cultivated by J.C. Hyde, who lived and farmed the land until his death in 2004. The Hyde family bought the farm from the Power family in 1920. The Powers first built on the land in the 1830s.
Ott said the county ultimately aimed to add a welcome center and restore a terrace as part of its effort to transform Hyde Farm into a “historical look-back.”
He touted the fact the farm sits in east Cobb, an area that has been “pretty much developed out” since the days of the Hyde brothers.
“I think it gives county residents the unique opportunity to see what the community was like back then, and how they fed themselves and how they lived.”