You’re invited- help restore a barn from the 1800′s


      There were two old barns on our property when our family  moved here 1995.  If you’re a regular reader to this blog, then you know we already use the big red barn  to host an  annual music festival we call “Applejam“.    What you may not have known is there is another  old dairy barn on our property that dates back to the 1880′s or before.    You can still see the ax marks on the beams:






     Currently this older  barn is sitting empty.  It is in need of a lot of TLC.     Our long term plan is to restore this relic from the past and  use it all year round for receptions, parties, and music festivals.  If you would like to contribute to this project financially, let me know.  I am willing to donate all of the man power-  (I’m a general contractor by day.) we need $75,000 to pull this off-  if this is something you’d love to get behind leave me a comment and we can talk more.  :-)  We are in the midst of setting up a 501 (c) (3) non profit corporation- to support the arts (music, authors, artists, poets)   so, if you love  history, or  the arts,  this is the perfect  way to invest in both.    I’ll close with this  poem from another wordpress blogger:


The Old Barn
J. Carl Brooksby

When I see an old barn, my thoughts return home
To the place where I lived ere I started to roam.
I think ever fondly of our barn full of hay,
Where, as youthful children, we would frolic and play.

We’d tie ropes to the rafters; we could climb there with ease,
And pretend we were men on the flying trapeze.
We would fly high and low; we’d swing and we’d sway,
Then, when we got tired, we would fall on the hay.

In the sweet-smelling hay, we would lie on our backs
And look at the sunbeams in the sun through the cracks.
We’d play “cops and robbers” and fall “dead” on the hay;
There were so many games that we children could play.

We could play “hide and seek”, there were places to hide.
There were kittens to play with and horses to ride.
We could drive in the milk cows from the field down below;
Never get them excited, but drive them in slow.

Now, the barn is not there: there are houses instead,
But those ever sweet memories are still in my head.
I can never forget the contentment and charm
Of those sweet summer days that we spent in the barn.


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4 Responses to “You’re invited- help restore a barn from the 1800′s”

  1. Steve Says:

    Are you talking restoring your barn? If so, you need to look into Barn Again! there are grants and such for doing that sort of thing. Since I am looking at the photos with a critical eye, I’d say it is possible your barn could be older than you think. Take a look at the nails if you can find some that have been in the wood from the begining, if they are “square” (the incorrect term used for cut nails), it could go back earlier than the 1880′s. It is a small barn with a lean too attached, it could be the barn started off its life with no hay track or large hay door. This would be an 1880′s improvement. Does the siding have battens? those pieces of wood that cover the cracks between two boards, they did that when lumber was green cut and subject to shrinkage to keep the wind from whistling through the siding. Are all the major beams solid are do they have scarf joints? Early barns tend to have fewer joined pieces of material since the framing was cut locally and they had larger trees. I noticed it looked like some of the beams have been salvaged as they have open mortise and tenon areas. By the way those axe marks are from a broad axe, you make vertical cuts with a regular axe and then take the chips out with the broad axe to square up the timber. Broad axes have a handle that is off set from the bit so you can keep your knuckles out of the way of the timber. Looks like I need to make a road trip and take my camera, I might be able to give you a better assessment of the kind of barn you have and a decent assessment as to its age. By the way, did you notice the width of the boards on the roof? The ones you put the wooden shingles on! Thats the kind of size you don’t get anymore and if you could, it wouldn’t be used for sub roofing material!

  2. J. Carl Brooksby Says:

    I notice that you used my poem, “The Old barn”. Glad to see that someone thinks the poem is wort using. Good luck on your restoration project.
    Incidentally, another person recently sked me for permission to use this poem. His address is

  3. J. Carl Brooksby Says:

    oops! The correct address is

  4. jacsmum Says:

    Any progress on this?
    Actually yes! :-) I got the floor raised/ leveled recovered this past Summer…I’m debating on whether or not to dismantle the whole structure and put a new foundation under it…I would like to move into the basement actually (earth home) w/ a green house etc. on the main floor. I have the prints..just need some additional $ to come in rather than borrow the whole thing. nice to hear from you Catherine! :-) DM

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