Friday, October 14, 2011

Old Barns

We love the Ozarks and all that it has to offer; its old ways, its beautiful scenery, the abundant wildlife, and its rich history that you can feel, see and still live. But like many rural areas in this country old barns and other farm structures are rapidly deteriorating due to their age and the expense of keeping them viable. We have a large two story dairy barn that is luckily in great shape and we are fortunate that it has what was rare when it was built, a poured concrete foundation, so we have not had to deal with the common issues of stacked stone foundations...but it still takes money and comitment to maintain. The price of wood and the skill to do a quality barn are so expensive we ended up building a metal sided pole barn ourselves and though we like it and every farm around here has gone to that, it lacks the charm of the old barns.

So we have decided to start taking pictures of some of the old barns and other farm structures in our area before they are all gone. We will take pictures when we are out and about and periodically post them on the was our first foray in taking some barn pictures.

So we will start out with a rainbow over our barn as a good omen. Our barn was built in 1942 right after the government decided (rightfully) that dairy barns needed to provide light to the animals, fresh air, and more sanitation. Our barn has windows that open along the milking parlor, manure and urine drains for mucking out, and it had electricity and running water plumbed from the pond. After it was built and all through WWII and into the late 1950s they held barn dances in the hay mow and a lot of the old timers have mentioned it to us. 

So whats this rip off you ask? Nothing to do with barns, just an old wrinkled guy with a butterfly....I truly cant get enough of the wild life around here in all its forms.

This is my favorite heifer Louise, she is still a little stand offish but she comes running when she heard the range cubes rattling in the bucket and she is very playful with Maybelle. This is what barns are for, animals and the feed for those animals.

And this is what you find in old barns...lots, and I mean lots, of spiders.

We cut another truck load of wood today from our friends ranch and passed this old barn. The homestead looks unlived in but the fences were tended and the barn was being kept up.

Look at the couplola and nice proportions on this barn. You would not believe the interesting things you find in old barns and we are still finding stuff in ours. I'll bet this one holds some treasures.

This old barn is showing its age but its still being used to store hay for the cattle as you can see. Back in the day most of these barns were built by the land owner or someone he knew and no two are the same.

This is a tiny barn that houses a small horse and a bunch of chickens. It has all the elements of a bigger barn including the hay mow, two small stalls, and a small couplola but its right in the middle of a small town we go through to reach the grocery store and we have admired it for awhile.

This is an old dairy barn of similar style to ours but it has relatively new siding and its owned by a retired farmer and his wife. They tend a small garden every year but no longer have animals that we can tell...just this cool old barn.

While pulling off the road to take a picture of the barn in the next photo below we found out they were raising Whitetail deer and Bison...look at the rack on that guy.

This is a much newer barn but has classic lines and this was really a going operation; we must go back to visit as its not too far from our farm.

Lots of old farms around here look like this, the barn and milking parlor are in disrepair, the silos are crumbling and most of the land has been sold off . If your into old buildings this area is a bonanza and I wish the silo on our place hadnt been torn down before we bought it.

This is a small older barn that has been well kept and from the looks of it its still in use, makes me want to get going on our barn restoration.....

There are literally thousands of barns just in our county and even small places with just a single wide mobile home for a house often have an old barn on the property.

But sadly, many of the older barns like this formerly majestic piece of Americana are just too expensive to maintain and the weather and neglect slowly wears them down. I look at the hundreds of abandoned barns and homesteads around here and try to imagine what they looked like in their hay day. I just feel priviledged to live at a time where I can still see them before they are gone and that I have the age and peace in my life to appreciate these simple pleasures. So thats a start eh? There are many more extremely interesting barns around here and we are going to try and get some interior pictures as well...its like old tractors, we cant get enough of them.

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