Grit Blogs > Windy Meadows Farm

Old Barns ... Looking Back

 Barns are landmarks,
the symbols of rural life that spark our curiosity
and fan the flames of the American spirit."

-Laura Brooks, "American Landmarks: The Barn"

Mary Murray head shotIn this fast-paced, newer-is-better world, I have a soft spot in my heart for things that are old. Old houses, old barns, old ways of doing things.

I understand that "old" oftentimes means more work. We've found our house has "charming" slanted floors & doorways, and finding someone to plaster walls is next to impossible. All these things make renovating challenging, and yes, I've thrown my hands in the air many times thinking it would be better to start new.

But after all, houses from 1864 have seen a lot of laughter, tears, and love. It's comforting to walk on the floors and look through the rooms and out the windows where so many generations before us have done the same.

I feel the same about barns.  So when I saw this old barn down the road with all the boards gone, I understood. Wood rots over time and it would be nice to put new, freshly painted boards on the outside. The frame stood straight and strong...what a fine barn it will be again.
burke barn 

However; when I drove by again a few days later, this is what I saw...

lost barn 

Yes, the frame had been removed...I'm hoping it found a home on a new farm. What you see burning, was a pile of remaining wood. Still, there's a sadness to it all.

This barn below is the most recent to catch my eye. It sits next to an empty farmhouse that looks as if it was a lovely home once upon a time. A large two-story house with loads of character...tall windows and two separate, yet side-by-side front doors. It's the kind of place I'd love to take a peek inside; however, a very large, very impressive "No Trespassing" sign keeps me in line.

There are large stacks of white bee supers in the lower right side. It makes me wonder what the old homestead was once like...with a barn this size and the others behind it, this must have been a busy, thriving farm in its day. For me, it's sad to see these empty homes & barns...I find it hard to believe there wasn't anyone in the family who wanted to claim it.
barn 1 

And this barn. you see the halo over it? That's not a special effect I added through editing. Why yes, barns are heavenly.

haol barn 

I'm going to keep a file and photograph old homes and barns as I find them, and perhaps I'll add them to a weekly post. There's just something captivating in their age and character. And, sadly, I feel that most of these vanishing landmarks will soon exist only through photography.
B and W barn 

 valley barn 
 valley 2 barn 

These words seem so true...

"Those who seek the spirit of America
might do well to look first in the countryside."

-Eric Sloane, "An Age of Barns"   

Mary is a Midwest farmgirl who enjoys the simple pleasures of living in the country. "For us, living where there is plenty of room for gardens, animals, and for kids to play and explore is the best kind of life." You can visit Windy Meadows Farm at