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The Octagonal Barn, Saint-Fabien

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Matthew Farfan

larger_Oct.Barn_.St_.Fabien.JPGThe town of Saint-Fabien, mid-way between Trois-Pistoles and Rimouski on the Lower St. Lawrence, has a highly unusual barn. What makes this barn so special is that it has eight sides. It also has four floors and two access ramps.

Built in 1888, the Saint-Fabien barn is officially known as the Adolphe-Gagnon Octagonal Barn. Classified a historic site in 2006 by Quebec's Ministry of Culture, the barn was turned into a museum in 2009. The museum features guided tours which emphasize the agricultural heritage of the area and the interesting architecture of the barn.

Visitors to the museum will discover the four floors of the barn, including the cellar, the stable, and the hayloft, spaces that feature temporary exhibits and displays of artifacts from the area's agricultural past. More than anything, perhaps, they will be impressed with the ingenuity of Quebec's early barn builders.

larger_Oct.Barn_.c.1900.jpgIn 2010, the Musée de la Grange octogonale won a prize for heritage in the category "Preservation, Restoration and Conservation" from the MRC Rimouski-Neigette and the Conseil de la Culture du Bas-Saint-Laurent.

The museum (129A Du Parc Street, Saint-Fabien) is open Monday to Sunday from June 24 (Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day) to Labor Day, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on weekends by reservation from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. Admission is $7.00 for adults and $2.00 for children 13 and under. For more information, call (418) 869-2088. Or visit the museum's website at: