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Old 02-23-2010, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Family Barn 1927-2010

Sad story. My grandfather built this barn in 1927, reportedly with material from an old barn dismantled about 75 miles away. My father and his nine siblings sold this farm about five years ago (my father was already retired and since then has sold his other farm land as well). I did have the family write into the contract that I had the right to move the ban within one year after escrow closed as I was afraid the new owners (real estate investors) would not take care of it. Unfortunately, I just could not figure out a way to get it moved to my place five miles away without bringing down several power poles, signal lights, going through other people's fields, etc. The new owners did neglect it other than waste money putting paint on it that would have been better spent replacing some boards damaged by termites, etc. Earlier this winter some strong winds (50+ mph) along with heavy rain buckled in one side of it. Due to liability concerns, the owners had it knocked down yesterday. I had taken the hay fork when the ranch was sold and retrieved the rails yesterday, a pulley, some very nice redwood lumber, and one piece of tin roofing which had the hand-painted name of the old hardware store that closed over 40 years ago. The cost to build the barn in 1927 was $500.



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Old 02-23-2010, 05:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

That is sad Harvey , I can only imagine. Salvage every scrap you can if you're allowed , this isn't the time to despair . Maybe you can get enough scrap to make a tool shed or something that will still mean something for you and your family out of it..... just a thought.. Hate to see old family heirlooms go like that. : (
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Old 02-23-2010, 05:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

That's very sad to hear. It's always a shame to see pieces of history like that fade out of existence. I have always loved the character and architecture of old barns...there are some really neat ones in Iowa (including several round and octagonal ones). They certainly don't build things like that anymore. And to think that they were built without cranes, power tools or large machines! Love seeing the hand hewn beams and slot/peg construction they have.

Edit: this octagonal barn, located in eastern Iowa, used to owned by some of my relatives. I don't believe it is owned by them anymore, but it's still around and is well-maintained as it is on a list of historic sites in Iowa. I'll ask my parents to see if I can get more information about this.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

Thanks Bob and Bryan.

I do hope to get back and get more lumber and don't think they mind at all. They are letting a guy come in to take what he wants and he only wants the tin roofing to sell for scrap. It took me at least 30 minutes to get one piece of 2' x 8' tin off the roof using a hammer and two pry/crow bars. There must have had about 50 nails holding it down! Of course, I was trying not to rip big holes in it or bend it much. I think there are still a good 20 or so long 2x6 boards. I plan to build a pole barn at my farm soon (hopefully this year) and if I can get enough of those boards I'll use them and then mount the hay rack in it just for looks. My pole barn won't be fancy but it will be nice to have some of the old barn in it. I imagine these boards are 100 years old and can probably last another 100 since they are heart redwood.

Another sad note about this barn is that it withstood our flood of 1972 where our levee broke and 13,000 acres was flooded for up to six months. This barn had about 4' of water but had big waves on windy days. Summer "breezes" (we joke about the term "breeze" since that can often mean 15-20 mph at sunset) come from the west which meant over 3 miles of open water upwind of the barn. My dad and a worker went out to remove a bunch of siding and replace one missing corner post. This is the only structure in the middle of our "island" that survived the flood. For some old folks the barn was a sign of not being conquered by the flood. What the flood couldn't do was outdone by human neglect.
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

I have a friend that works in construction that made a really nice 12 gun cabinet w/ the ammo / pistol chest below; out of old barn boards. They make nice furniture too depending one what you can salvage. Good Luck with that :^)
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

That is sad. I'd take as much of the lumber I could too, & use it to build something.
When I moved here, there was a big pidgeon coup in back. They used to raise pidgeons. It was a real eyesore so I tore it down but saved some of the weathered barnwood. They made some really cool picture frames!
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

Aw I'm so sorry. I know how that just takes a piece of you down with it. So many memories and it's hard to drive past it when it's different.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

Yeah, it's probably very sad for my dad who's 85. The barn had been his farm shop for about 60 years and he drives past it several times a day. Strangely, though, he didn't understand why I was interested in salvaging any lumber from it.

I would probably have been back there today but it's been raining most of the day. I think the roof probably isn't leaking, though I probably spent more time under it yesterday than I should have. I'd probably get carried away and bring it down the rest of the ways on top of myself!
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Family Barn 1927-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookieCows View Post
Aw I'm so sorry. I know how that just takes a piece of you down with it. So many memories and it's hard to drive past it when it's different.
Oh, you got that right!!!! I lived w/ my Grandma often in summer when I was a kid. She bought her house - I think early 40's, & Christmas eve the whole family gathered there, her 6 kids, & prolly & close to 20 grandchildren. When she died, my Dad bought it out of estate & then sold it to my bro (Dad's only son). We took turns having Christmas eve get togethers & it was my sisters turn. We got a call that my brothers house was on fire..., ironically on Christmas Eve! It was on national news! Wind chill was -20F & very windy. The firemen looked like popsicles & even the trucks were embedded in 2 ft of ice. Go by there now & it is a parking lot.
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