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Old Barns ... Looking Back

| 6/13/2012 11:09:07 AM

 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...

Jim Hurley
9/3/2012 2:32:31 PM

I really appreciate old Barn's, wish they could talk. I guess some times if we take the time to stop, look and listen they do tell a tale or two. I understand the cost of fixing up an old barn can be expensive. Plus a "new" pole barn often serves a better use if space. Being a history buff anything "old" catch's my eye.i am sure fond memories surround an old barn. Some of my best were in the old barn with my Grand Parents. They have pasted away. The memories linger on. Great article

Old School Farm Boy
6/27/2012 9:01:08 PM

Mary, great story about universal rual landmarks. We have a family farm in Kansas that has been in our family since 1883. A pesky tornado came through the night after the big Greensburg tornado and scalped the barn and flattened the machine shed that are in family pictures dating back to the 1920's. Common sense says the rest of the barn should come down, but with the lower and loft framework still in tact makes me want to determine if its rebuildable. Thanks for the story.

Mary Murray
6/27/2012 2:38:51 AM

I couldn't agree more, Pat. Well said!

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