On May 15, during a gusty evening, the earth, and barn shook as a 130 foot Eucalyptus tree lost its footing and fell hard and strong onto the MCARLM Main Exhibit Barn. This tree, estimated to be well over 100 years old and over 100 feet tall, was located on the north side of the museum in what used to be the Sugar Beet Harvesting outdoor exhibit. The tree blew over, roots and all, mangling irreplaceable pieces of equipment, including a Farmall M, Marbeet Jr. and a Single Row Marbeet Harvester, destroying the wood awning that protected the antique wood farming equipment and causing a large amount of damage to the roof of the Main Exhibit Barn.
The clearing of the debris has been quite an undertaking. The biggest job was the removal of the tree from on top of the barn, revealing to us what the real extent of the damage is to the equipment and building. While we realize that the damage could have been way worse and more devastating, we mourn the loss of equipment pieces that we will never be able to replace. The destruction to the barn and the loss of the awning are both fixable with some work. We are currently working with engineers and the county insurance to create a plan for repairs and rebuilding of the damage and structures that were lost in what really comes down to a gust of wind. This random act of mother nature showed us here at the museum just how valuable our artifacts are, and how quickly these irreplaceable items can be lost and gone forever.