By Katy Savage
The Sparkle Barn in Wallingford has acquired the neighboring Barn at White Rocks.
Sparkle Barn owner Stacy Harshman bought the 17.5-acre property with a six-bedroom house and 1800s barn for $825,000 on a whim Monday, July 18.
“I wasn’t in the market,” she said. “I’m kind of a real estate junkie. I love to look at what’s going on. I’ve just loved that barn forever.”
Harshman doesn’t know what she’s going to do with the barn yet, but she knows what she’s going to call it — Sparkle on the Rocks.
“Things happened really quickly and I wasn’t planning on it,” she said. “You just kind of jump when you have a great opportunity.”
Harshman has owned Sparkle Barn for five years, where she sells unique handcrafted gifts.
“I just have sparkles everywhere,” Harshman said.
Harshman said her business changed since the Covid -19 pandemic. Her upstairs barn space, once dedicated to events, such as plays, camps for kids, movie nights and art shows, has become a shipping and warehouse space.
“I just thought it would be a great thing for Sparkle Barn to have events again,” Harshman said of her new space.
Harshman reached out to her Facebook followers to see what they wanted to see the Barn and White Rocks become. Some said they wanted to see bands, markets and movies.
“I really want it to be something the community can get behind,” she said. “The possibilities are enormous.”
Meanwhile, Barn and White Rocks owners Lee and Debra Perry are retiring.
Like Harshman, they bought the property on a whim in 2016.
Lee Perry was a tax collector for the town and knew the barn was heading for foreclosure. He also knew his wife loved the historic property.
“When I went to the auction, I ended up buying it,” Perry said. Perry called his wife after, and to her surprise, told her “We just bought an inn.”
The Perrys quickly had to figure out what they were going to do with the property.
“A friend of mine said, ‘are you going to do weddings?” Perry said. Less than a week later, the Perrys put together a booth to participate in a bridal show in Killington.
“We figured it out fast, we kind of had to,” Perry said. They had no experience with wedding planning but turned the former inn into a private home and hosted 12-14 weddings a year.
“I’m going to miss the property,” Perry said. “It’s gorgeous. It feels like home.”
The Perrys plan to stay close to the area and will slowly be moving out for the next few months. Harshman will officially take over the property in mid-October.
“I think she can do things (with the property) that we weren’t able to,” Perry said.