Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Green Barn

The green barn was built in 1901. It may have been a Sears Bank Barn kit that cost $600.00 at the time. The write-up in the catalogue states: "it will cost you more for labor than the price of this barn." The sears barns were shipped via railroad and customers had to pick them up at the station. I can imagine a few farmers gathering together with their wagons to help out. The nearest rail station was probably in Jackson, or maybe Lansing.

We have a photo taken 50+ years ago that shows the green barn painted white. I can also see traces of red as well.

The green barn used to have a silo. You can see its old concrete foundation in the photo below. Over the years, it fell down, or was torn down. In this photo, you can see where the right side of the concrete chute, which allowed the farmer to send grain into the barn basement, has broken free, and slid through the rock wall. Someone started to rebuild the wall, and I continued it. Next summer, I plan on having this completely closed in and patched up. I will also have to put gutters on the eaves to keep the water from pouring onto the foundation. (I want to capture that water into a cistern system, but that's another post!).



Barn Photos


Pitchfork looking for work


Big fella 14" pillar and 12" beam




Every barn has dirty light bulbs (how did it get dirty?)



Nice curves



Gate looking for work


Gate chewed artistically by horses


Ladder to nowhere (except up)
Chicken Photos

Khan, glowing in the midday sun



Honey following Bishop the Barncat

This Thanksgiving weekend has made me realize how thankful I am for all the good things in my life. I know that is a cliché, but it rings true for me today.
Life is good

41 comments:

Gwen Buchanan said...

Don, that must be the ladder to reach the sky hook, in case you ever need one...
Love the old structure and the size of the beams.. they don't build things like that anymore...

carl h. sr. said...

That wood is just awesome to me Don.In fact the whole barn is!
In my dreams I would come up there and gladly give you a hand and just enjoy 'piddling' around the place.
Oh yes,I love those rocks too!

Drowsey Monkey said...

Oh what a wonderful post, I enjoyed that! The photos are amazing.

That ladder to nowhere is kinda scary!

Don said...

gwen: sky hook as in tether for my blimp?, or sky hook as in tether to the almighty in case I fall off the roof? or all of the above? I have enjoyed thinking about all off the sky hook possibilities

What do you mean "they?" You and John built something better than that up there on the Bay!!

Don said...

carl: I could use a good hand who knows what the *&$% (to quote Yosemite Sam) he is doing up here!

Don said...

drowsey: scarey yes, and there are two of them! Four if you count the ones on each end of the barn too!!

No, I haven't climbed any of them, and don't plan to.

If I had a monkey around the place, hmmm...

Gwen Buchanan said...

Don, I have a healthy appreciation for those old structures.. which are numbering less every year.. especially when we know how much less mechanization they had to help them.. just each man with his big strong hands ... and a few friends to help him along...

I had a good laugh reading your comments on what to use the sky hook for.. you have probably thought up several more by now!!! those sky hooks can come in handy, you know?

Claire said...

Such a beautiful barn - I love the photos that show how she has aged and how you are also restoring some of her glory. I wish my barn was like that instead of a modern Wick building. It has far less character. My chicken house light bulbs get dirty. I think they spit on them late at night.

warren said...

My uncle's barn was much like yours. His base structure had no nails in it though...all built with wooden pegs.

Around here, there are a lot of Sears homes. They apparently came in on barges as well as trains. Anyhow, they are very neat looking and they have a ton of character. I didn't know they made barns too but it makes sense!

Country Girl said...

That barn looks a lot like mine without that long ladder but we do have a short blue one leading to the hay loft.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Hey, your white crested black polish hen, standing behind Khan in that photo...how does she do with your other hens? My polish, "Dot", used to be so beautiful (flight, skittish and a bit odd, yes, but still beautiful), but the other hens have recently taken to pecking her head at night while on the roost. She's a mess! I'm so sad. Do you have issues with this?

Don said...

gwen: I agree about the old structures disappearing. That tv show "extreme home makeover" did a home about ten miles from our farm (it's airing this Sunday) and they tore down a farmhouse built in about 1860 to build the new one. I didn't like that so much!

I am still thinking about the sky hook

Don said...

claire: Your chickens can spit?

I am finding that I like any farm building, whatever it's era.

Don said...

warren: My barn doesn't have any wooden pegs that I can see. I think pegs predate the 20th century, maybe because they didn't have access to big nails?

Sears homes were really popular during the arts and crafts movement. THey are quite nice and detailed.

Don said...

country girl: I wish I had a hayloft, but I actually have a hay barn! The whole upstairs was for hay storage, so no need for a loft.

Your barn is much older than mine though isn't it?

Don said...

farmgirl dk: My 4 white crested polish are having the same problem as your Dot. All four look like Friars with the dome head and hair aound the edges. Some days they are bleeding. I keep hoping they will stop, but I think I am going to have to isolate them for a while to see if their feathers grow back in and then see if the others will leave them alone.

I have 7 other polish cresteds and they don't have this problem at all. Go figure.

Eliane said...

Lovely pictures. I shall imagine Howard Keel, Tommy Rall et al raising it all those years ago... The wood has aged so beautifully.

shicat said...

The barns interior is so weathered and wonderful. Your photos really show it off. I am wondering though, does the barn cat like birds?

Gwen Buchanan said...

Oh what a loss and shame Don, .. I wouldn't like very much either..

Just 4 nights ago on an extremely windy night I saw and heard the firetrucks racing up and down the road for the longest time... not a good sign...... An 84 yr old womans home burned to the ground.. She had redone the old house and it was always a pleasure to drive by it.. now it's nothing but a pile of burnt mess... although sticking out of it were the strong and proud notched and pegged solid timbers it was made from.. she hasn't decided if she will rebuild or not.. such a shame...

Don said...

eliane:7 brides for seven brothers, nicely done!

maybe we'll have a barn dance someday, if so, you'll be invited

Don said...

shicat: Bishop the barn cat is amused by all of the chickens antics, and watches them, and even walks among them, (and gets followed when she does that).

the little birds, however, (chickadees, etc.), are not just watched :(

Don said...

gwen: oh, fire is so terrible, so completely destructive. I hope your neighbor got out without injury. It makes me sad to think about all the memories of a lifetime that went up in smoke.

Reminds me to be careful with my woodstove!!

jennifer's farmily said...

I know I've said it before, but I love old barns. They hold so many stories that we'll never know.

And the 'artistically chewed gate' is really neat. It DOES look like an artistic piece!!

Don said...

jennifer: I agree about the artistic gate. When I redo that doorway, I'm going to have to figure out how to use that gate someplace where it will be seen yet safe.

Denise said...

Thanks for taking us on a small tour of your barn. Would there have been another floor? Would that have been where the ladder led to?

Bob Johnson said...

Lol, I love that ladder and 600.00 wow, but a guy was probably making that much a year at that time so it's all relative I suppose. Cute shot of Honey and Bishop.

Don said...

Denise: That would be cool to have another floor up there. Maybe someday!

This is a haybarn. The farmers would store hay in here from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. There are pulleys all over the ceiling where they would run ropes to haul the bales up. The ladders gave them access to the hay. I can imagine in its "hayday" this was quite a little operation.

Don said...

Bob: I can't imagine what it would cost to build a wooden structure like this today. It is mostly made of oak.

I think you're right that guys were probably making $600 a year at that time!

Grandpa Walton!

Stiggy said...

Hi Don, you are so lucky to have such a great and interesting barn...

...Love the shots from Ruth!

You have such amazing things on your land fella, so many brilliant things to waste time looking at and pondering over!

Loring Wirbel said...

To think that Sears sold pre-fab barn kits. Sears was not only the all-purpose dry goods by mail of its day, it was the Nieman-Marcus of its day! (Though I don't think you could order your own private locomotive steam engine.)

Farm Chick Paula said...

Love the barn pictures, Don!! That is one tall ladder...
I like your new header, too!!

carl h. sr. said...

Don,if I could figure a way to get up there one day,it would be a thrill and a pleasure to lend some carpentry knowledge and skills.
Just don't be holding your breath though :)
I bet those awesome foundation stones came from right there on your farm. Maybe some were even delivered there by glacier!
I wish I had rocks,but here I do not know HOW many feet deep one would have to go to find a rock.

Ruth said...

Hey, Donnie, Lisa told me that the old farmhouse that was torn down for the Extreme Home Makeover show was in such terrible shape, it was like almost ready to be condemned. So even though I would love to have seen them retain it, it sounds like it would have to be completely redone inside anyway.

Ginnie said...

Every time I see a picture of that barn, Don, I am in awe of it. Maybe it's the size. I don't know. It just seems...bigger than life. I guess that's what I need sometimes...something bigger than life that is very soulful.

Don said...

stiggy:This old farm is full of things I love to mess with. It's probably more than I can handle with crumbling foundations, leaky roofs 40 feet off the ground, and poison ivy everywhere, but I woldn't want to live anywhere else right now.

We have talked about renting a little rural place in the UK in about 10 years.

Don said...

loring: and that's not all! older catalogues served out their last days in the outhouse, both for reading practice and...well you know. Charmin is a bit of an upgrade!

Don said...

paula: thanks! Ruth loves to fiddle with fotos

Don said...

carl: THat would be fun to have an amish-type work party and get together a group of people to hang out and also work on projects like restoring old barns.

Don't dig too deeep down there or you might start a sinkhole!

Don said...

ruth: I'm glad to know that about the farmhouse. We americans need to do a better job of treasuring our heritage, (scarce as it may be!)

My dad has a memory of a huge round barn near his uncle's farm, that was torn down to build a strip mall. Ouch!

Don said...

ginnie: The green barn does feel big, but there are barns in the neighborhood that would hold 5 of mine!

I too need things in my life that are bigger than I am, and I think this farm is filling that right now.

Your photography does that for me too!

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