Friday, January 6, 2012

For the Love of Barns....

#10 Logging My Favorites
This is the tenth installment of a ongoing log of my favorite things. Once a month I will post a favorite. It might be a person, or a place, or even an event. Hopefully it will help you get to know me a little better. I'd love your comments and I hope to make some connections through our mutual enjoyment of these treasures.

I love old barns; if you've ever driven through a rural area, it's likely that you've seen barns standing watch over the landscape. Have you ever taken the time to take a closer look at the barns as you travel the country side, or stop and walk through one?  

When a family farmed to subsist and feed their livestock, understanding of the soil and awareness of nature were essential parts of rural life. This fertile lifestyle inspired barns and outbuildings of solid grace - - structures that reflect the regional character with original designs by innovative builders.

I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I did have access to the barns of family members in Indiana. I experienced many things in the barn. I watched animals being born, smelled the scent of fresh hay, milked the cows, shared secrets with my friends, and developed a love of nature. 

 Old barns were typically made of timber, and stone barns were built in certain areas where stone was a cheaper construction material. There are many different types of barns, namely horse barns, pole barns, carriage barns, etc. I find them all beautiful and each barn is unique. 

Why are most barns red?  There are several theories as to why barns are painted red, but in historically accurate terms, ready made paints were not available.  Farmers made their own red paint by adding ferrous oxide to the traditional mix of paint ingredients:  lime, linseed oil and milk to create their own version of long lasting red paint that acted as a quick drying wood preservative.

 Population explosion and the rise of agribusiness have caused the rapid disappearance of the small "family owned" farm. Unfortunately the need for these traditional structures has drawn to a close. What remains is an endangered species of splendid buildings that offer functional beauty and purity of design that once characterized the Farm way of life. 

Even though restoration of old houses is popular today, most barns of equal architectural merit and age have been ignored and seemed doomed. Yet people who take the time to befriend old barns will find that they hold many secrets, each one has its own charm and mystery.

 Adaptive use is the key to their preservation. For these proud structures to remain on any landscape their value must be recognized and adaptive new uses must be found. A small percentage of barns across the country have been lovingly restored and re-purposed to fit today’s needs.  The barn pictured above has been Turned into a lovely home.  I love old barns and I don’t want to see them disappear.

Next time you see an old barn off in the distance--close your eyes for a moment and imagine the laughter and tears echoing within.  Oh yes....I love old barns!

To see my Pinterest collection of fabulous photos - Barns Great and Small - click here.

Or cut and paste this address into your browser:

Share this Blog Post :

1 comment: