Monday, June 22, 2015

Forgotten Barns: Part 6


Many of the older barns in the area have stone foundations on the lower parts and you can see a bit on this one. However, it seems like many of those with stone foundations are still functioning barns and have been up kept better. Others have just been in areas where I can't photograph them without first getting permission or trespassing and so I pass them by. This one however, I could see from the side of the road.


Although there weren't many windows on this one, I'm guessing it was probably a house at one point due to the front porch with columns. It's days are clearly numbered judging by the lean and the sag. I'm always find it interesting how the roof rusts in such odd looking but uniform patterns. Judging from the striping effect, I'm guessing the paint application process wasn't as good on the right side of the sheet as the left for whatever reasons.


I've seen many barns shaped like the one above but this is the first all wood and shingle one I've seen. Most are metal roofed or sheathed in fabric with metal hoops supporting it. From a distance, I had thought this was a barn that had collapsed but left the roof largely intact. I'm not sure why this barn is shaped or why it was built this way. Maybe they wanted to make it all roof so they could save on paint. Driving by the entrance, you could see all the holes in the roofing allowing daylight to shine into it.


This barn was probably still in use as a storage building for farm wagons or such but what struck me was the rust pattern on the roof. Not only is there a vertical element to it but also a horizontal element.


Finally, one last one with days that are numbered. Back in the day, we used to salvage these barns for their lumber. You would find solid two-by lumber 16 inches wide and twenty feet long with nary a knot in the entire span made from oak trees. Now an oak board one inch thick and half as wide will cost you fortune and will be full of imperfections. This barn however, is too far gone to salvage directly. If it was my barn, I would try to push it over gently so not to break up or twist too much of the wood and then try salvaging it. Seems a shame to just let it rot away.

3 comments:

ErinFromIowa said...

The one with the porch? Reminded me of a short story where one day Ma moved the family out to the barn. Pa arrived home and was made to remember his promise to build Ma a decent house.

Vince said...

It rusts on the overlap that's why tiz uniform. But why are so many derelict. Was it the selling up that went on in the 80s and these are the remnants of a life lost.

Ed said...

Erin - I wonder if Ma was thrilled!

Vince - A lot of it has to do with the mass exodus of farming families to urban centers. On the mile by mile and a half block that my parents live on, there used to be 16 farm families when I was a boy. Now there is just two and when the old man in his 90's that shares the block passes on, I'm sure it will just be my parents. All those 16 farm families at one point had homesteads and barns. Another factor is that with pole barns sheathed in metal, it is far cheaper to build one of those for storage than to upkeep the old wooden barns. In many of these pictures, what you don't see is one of these metal pole barn buildings that is now used in place of the barn. Yet another factor is that with the way the markets are, it isn't financially feasible to raise a small number of animals anymore and many of these barns were used for that purpose. Those that raise animals raise them in more specialized buildings.