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A Labor of Love: Restoring the Old Barn

Red Pine Mountain logoEnvision Vermont and what pops into your head?  Rolling countryside dotted with antique barns?  Only problem is many of these barns are rapidly disappearing as they collapse in disrepair.

We have an old barn on our farm.  It's been featured in the movie, Disappearances. Click on the Disappearances gallery and there it is.  They even used a stack of lumber planed by Mountain Man to make their own actor/logger look more authentic.  (Rent the movie and you'll see lots more of our farm as well.)

But the true meaning of the barn lies in its past when it was the hub of our farm's life.

Originally, it was a three story structure.

Originally a three-story structure

Traces of the old lettering are still visible on the side.

Traces of the old lettering

Here's a view of the inside.  On the highest level, hay was stored.

A view of the inside of the barn

On the second level, there were dairy cows and milking stands.  We still have the old stanchions.

The inside of the barn

It's a huge, vast space.

The inside of the barn is vast.

On the lower level, pigs were housed and perhaps carriages stored.

Lower Level Old Barn

But if we don't do something soon, we will lose our barn.  It's deteriorating from harsh winters and it's sinking into the ground as well.  We've been putting off the decision but we knew this year, we had to decide.  Lose it or fix it?

If you live on a farm then you know money is always a scarce commodity.  Mountain Man plans to do all the work himself and provide most of the materials but even so there will be items we have to buy and they will be expensive.  And when Mountain Man is working on the barn, he can't work on paying projects.  So what to do?  We prayed about it and we both decided we can't let the barn collapse into oblivion.  It's as much a part of history as is the graveyard on our farm, as are the ancient trees in our woods.  There is no way we will let this small part of history decay and collapse.  There, decision made.  We'll find a way somehow.

Mountain Man's first project is to keep the barn from sinking further into the ground.  He shot transits today and he's going to have to raise the front of the barn 15" to level it.

Here he is demonstrating the end of the barn that is raised.

Raised end of barn

And at the other end that has sunk 15 inches.

End of barn to be raised

I'll be sharing photos with you as the rennovation gets in full swing.  And if anyone is traveling to Vermont and would like to participate in a barn re-raising, let us know.

You can always find Mountain Man and Mountain Woman at Red Pine Mountain.