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Cause of Walters Barn fire still sought

POSTED: March 13, 2013 1:06 a.m.

Though the Walters Barn, a popular event venue in Lula, was destroyed by fire just two days ago, plans to rebuild are already in the works.

The facility burned Monday afternoon, and Hall County Fire Chief David Kimbrell said the fire department is working with the insurance company, which is bringing in engineers and other investigators later this week. A cause has not yet been determined.

The barn served as a venue for hundreds of weddings, events and political fundraisers for the likes of Gov. Nathan Deal and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.

Jim Walters has owned the property between 10 and 15 years and developed the 350-acre tract where the barn is located.

Jackie Walters, Jim Walters’ assistant and daughter, said he has already begun discussing how to rebuild.

But right now, she said, the main focus is on finding a new venue for the many brides and grooms who planned to be married at the barn over the next few months.

Walters said it is very fortunate that they have built so many good relationships with other local venues and organizations because the entire community has gathered around and offered to help.

“Our biggest focus right now is to make sure the brides and families we’ve committed to on their special days are very well taken care of,” Walters said.

Walters said the structure, which included a downstairs event area and an upstairs apartment, could be rebuilt fairly quickly, though estimating a time frame would be premature.

She said it was her father’s favorite place to go and relax and that he “put a lot of love” into the farm.

The plans will likely incorporate a lot of the barn’s previous features, she said, but could provide an opportunity for some updates.

“There may be a way to incorporate old with new and be even better,” Walters said. “We’re just going to stay real positive about it.”


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