Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A lesson in BARNS

Here is a somewhat short history lesson of barn styles... I have found that you are never too old to learn about new things, epecially something that is so dominant in our landscape and history.  

Most of you already know that I love all things barn! So proud of our own barn- which was a labor of love, and continues to be an awesome focal point of our farm.

I understand that these pictures are outdated.....and out-seasoned :) but i have yet to take an amazing picture of it in the summer...i promise to get on that soon!

If you have ever driven through the countryside of the midwest, you have probably seen some of the most beautiful barns America has to offer! I'm kind of a geek when it comes to barns and I ewww and awwww, as we drive, over barns like we are watching some spectacular circus act.

The design of barns, especially from "the olden days", is about the weather conditions in that particular area and the cultural background of the farmer. American farmers thought about functionality as well as beauty to show a sense of their identity to other farmers.


The style of the barns pictured above are called BANK BARNS.
These have 2 levels, typically lower level for livestock and the upper level was used for storage. These were built into a hill to allow the farmer easy access to both levels.

This is a Round Barn, like we already didn't know that! But here are some interesting facts about them....
they became popular as learning tools for farming colleges back in the 1880's thinking they were more efficient: less material used, cheaper and have self supporting roofs. Not very many of them around, which goes to show they didn't have all of it figured out back then!! 

Pictured above is a Tobacco Barn.  These are heavily ventilated with many vents to allow the air-flow to dry out the tobacco leaves after harvest. There are many styles of tobacco barns, but good to know when I see one with lots of holes in it I can sound smart and say, "must be drying their tobacco leaves"!............

..........Probably NOT what the above barn was intended for.......

Now for the most popular and simplest of them all: the English Barn

Usually small (30x40) with an A-frame roof. Ground floor, no basement, vertical boards on the wall usually left unpainted. And most commonly had a center isle with stalls for livestock on one side and feed kept on the other.

This beautiful red barn pictured above is a Dutch Barn. These are the oldest and rarest here in the US of A. These have center wagon doors and a broad gabled roof.
These usually have muliple doors and vents to allow winds to carry though, and the typical barn swallows and martins to come for a visit!

I just had to show 2 pictures of the next barn style: Crib Barn or as Baileyhusband calls them, Corn Cribs. These pictures are so stinkin beautiful....
The name comes from the one to six "cribs" built inside to house feed, livestock, or whatever else the farmer is needing stored. Smaller ones were strickly used for feed storage.

Last, but not least, is the Prairie Barn:

The Prairie Barns are large structures that were built for maximum storage and to sometime house large groups of cattle. They are wooden pieces of art that dot our landscape all over America. There is nothing I love more than to see the new generation of farmers, or farmer wanna-be's, fixing and restoring these beauties.

Through my research for this post, I have fallen even more in love with these structures!! I wonder if now, as we drive along, I can look at a particular barn and be able to point out the style it is?!

1 comment:

missy max said...

I didn't know there were so many styles...Love the crib barns..Like the weathered look..

This is "What I NEVER knew that I ALWAYS wanted"

A born and raised city girl, finding the country life to be the real me! Every day is an adventure, and each season brings new excitement and experiences. I am learning and loving the path of finding my true passion....making this little farm our HOME!