Barn Guestbook Archive: January - March 1999

  Sunny email me! - Friday, January 08, 1999 05:20:15 PM
I grew up within walking distance of the Star Barn in Lower Swatara township, Middletown, Penna. In fact, I used to ride my bicycle down the steep hill that once split the house fromthe barn. Obviously, that was long before the highway 283 was built. However, a lttle futher down the road, on Rosedale Avenue, there was a barn that had burned to the ground on the Jednota Children's Home property many years before, (late 60's). Since then, the home itself has been torn down, I was hoping you could point me in a direction to research the history of that home. I onced lived there, and wish to write about it. By the way, I saw the Star barn again this past Christmas (1998), It needs a new coat of paint from some loving hands, I rode horses in those fields and used the barn as a landmark, won't you please help restore it? I didn't know I was walking on such historic ground!

Rich Blackmore email me! - Friday, January 15, 1999 01:04:02 AM
Hi BARN FANS! My friend and I are building barns- scale model replicas! It's one way of preserving the old barn on the family farm! We work in popular scales for TOY FARMERS too with breathtaking detail and realism. Will do replicas for non profit fundraising events- whatever you'd like. See you at the farm-barn shows and events- or email us at We'll do complete dioramas for display too!

Michelle email me! - Sunday, January 17, 1999 12:12:36 AM
thank you!I just love ol'barns they seem to tell a storie.. and often remind me of Gramps. I was very excited to see this site, my home is not in the country, but is decorated w/ ref to old barns.

Joe Jarret email me! - Sunday, January 17, 1999 12:47:46 PM
What a grand and novel site! I am New York City born and raised but I earned my masters degree at Central Michigan University and was stationed in Michigan while in he military. It was there I fell in love with barns. Since that time, I have taken to photographing them in my travels. Any time I can steal away from my law practice, my wife and I head to North Carolina where we admire barns tha boast such slogans as "See Rock City" and "Chew Mail Pouch." Thank you for your interest in preserving such a wonderful piece of Americana!

Marcella email me! - Tuesday, January 19, 1999 12:53:11 AM
Farmers wife from Australia. Interested in looking at barns, wheat weaving instructions, herb crafts, and grain and beef cattle. Hope to travel to America.

Sunny Stufflebeam email me! - Friday, January 22, 1999 05:42:50 PM
I have an old barn... when I bought it in 1989, there was a huge gaping hole in the roof... very shortly after, I put a steel roof on it to save the walls... inside is 8 x 8 posts with pegs... i believe it is more than 100 years old - the house with the property was built in 1840s. Anyway, in '93 remarried and husband is now trying to salvage foundation - using jacks, tractors - anything that works. I did hear of possibility of Illinois state grants for barn restorations if barn was on a state highway (mine is)... if anyone has any info, would appreciate it... i love my barn... lots of people in this ag community have let their barns go, or torn them down, replacing with pole buildings... when I bought mine, it was strongly recommended that I tear my barn down and do same - but I can't - it is too gorgeous, it has history that no pole building could ever have... it still has the apparatus for lifting hay into upper story... it houses my critters... wonderful barn... this is a wonderful site full of people who know the real value of older things... we will all be old someday... Feel free to email me at

Kim Hoerrmann email me! - Saturday, January 23, 1999 07:26:16 PM
I have a big problem! We have moved into our barn (home) and it is 90% done, mostly just finish work and floor coverings. We cannot find an insurance company who will touch it! It has brand new everything, 200 amp electrical box & wire, electric water heater, propane heat. They all say the risk is too much. I'm sure it's just because it is non traditional that it scares them off, but every dime I have and every thing I own is in here. Help!

Jim Derby email me! - Sunday, January 24, 1999 02:43:03 PM
It warms my heart to see so many people sharing barn feaver! I am a carpenter type and I love barns so I have been specializing in restoring and moving antique buildings for about six years now. It's a dirty dangerous job but I am fascinated to see how old barns were put together. We mostly have English style barns here in New Hampshire, so it's even fun to travel and see other styles of construction. I could go on for pages,but I will just say thank you to The Barn Journal for this resource!!!

Gary Pollitz email me! - Monday, February 15, 1999 12:02:33 PM
I have restored an old barn in Mason Micigan and have began using it for family and youth activities. It is 40x80 and of a gambrel truss design dating approximately 1901. I am a social worker who enjoys good social gatherings for a good purpose. The barn has a sound system, a hardwood floor for dancing and sports, plus I give hayrides, bonfires, and outdoor sports. Kitchen facilities are also available. I do not charge for this service however donations for upkeep are always appreciated. Please e-mail me with interest of either using this facility or informing me of similar types of activities you are using your barn for. Thank you, Gary.

Bion L. Hoeg email me! - Wednesday, February 17, 1999 01:11:17 AM
I am in the process of converting a 26'x84' barn to a residence, if someone doesn't take it off my hands. I would give the barn free (but charge for the 2/3 Acre lot it stands on) as long as the barn stays where it is. It is located near Fenton, MI. Contact me if you are interested.

S & L Hurst email me! - Sunday, February 21, 1999 01:29:51 AM
Painters & barn lovers: our 3-story 60yr.+ barn was originally red, but is now paintless and deteriorating. We'd like to preserve and protect the wood while maintaining the "weathered" look. Red barn paint would look too "new", and commercial house stain is too expensive. Can standard red barn paint be diluted with linseed oil & still protect the wood? Any other ideas on paint or application? What has worked for you? Also looking for help(E. Central Ks.) to assess, paint and restore.

Kim Hoerrmann email me! - Monday, February 22, 1999 01:45:27 AM
Hi it's me again!! We finally got a company to insure our barn home!!! Hurrah!!!! It's becoming more & more like a home every day. We love living in it, wouldn't trade it for anything, even though it's not done yet. please go to for pictures. Thanks.

Jo Ann Ridley email me! - Friday, February 26, 1999 10:27:56 PM
I appreciate this opportunity to post a query: I am writing a commemorative book about the restoration of a century-old barn at The Sea Ranch on the Sonoma Coast. It's on the National Register, but even the professional architectural historians who prepared the application were unable to ascertain its exact architectural heritage except that it's "Northern European." It's possible - was built by German immigrants in 1880. Is there anyone out there who knows specific information about "northern European" barn tradition? It's 60 x 160 feet, mildly gabled roof with two monitors, originally open with three aisles,doors on both ends but not sides, small ventilating windows along sides. This beautiful barn has been restored by volunteer retirees over the past ten years - a great story. Thank you for any help you can provide regarding the "northern European" mystery.

Ron Carr email me! - Saturday, February 27, 1999 05:31:06 PM
Thanks for the links and useful information a very worthwhile site on the net. I have started restoration of a milk house and barn on a small farm in Baraboo Wisconsin. It is a great adventure, but can be overwhelming at times. Would welcome ideas from those who have done this before. I plan to share the progress by posting info to the Baraboo River Farm web site at

Bill Warren email me! - Wednesday, March 03, 1999 01:05:59 PM
I own the first barn built with studs instead of post & beam in Portsmouth, NH. Barn was contructed in 1872. Rough cut 4 x 4 studs were used. Barn is approximately 39 x 39 sq. ft. It was built on a slope so there is a partial basement where the manure was pushed into and taken out of by a door on a laneway. It stands on a brick foundation. It was used to house 3 horses, 3 wagons, and, some plumbing supplies. The loft (full) hangs on metal rods (from the rafters and from 4 major 10" x 10" posts. Loft was used for hay and storage. A older build (shed) constructed around 1850 was attached to one side of the barn (1872) as an additional garage with a room for a barn hand to live in. The barn has a cupola (3' x 3' x 6') and used to have a 1872 horse (standing with one front leg raised) weathervane. The weathervane was stolen about 5 years ago by mid-night raiders who damaged the cupola in their haste to rustle my horse. The barn was built by an ancestor; be it ever so humble, there is nothing like owning a barn.

Pam Mascio email me! - Friday, March 05, 1999 12:42:25 AM
What a wonderful site! I love the lore of barns. The history and fun that was bound to have happened in them. I enjoyed reading all the letters here also! I had NO IDEA so many people were taken by barns! How wonderful!!! Thanks for the great visit!

David Samuels email me! - Friday, March 05, 1999 05:03:48 PM
I am 53 years old now, but I shall never forget the good times we as kids had on the farm in Glen Allen, VA with our barns and angus cattle. It is hard to realize these good old days are gone. I am currently looking for a farm so my children can have the same experiences I had. My father is deceased but I shall never forget the love he had for me.

David Lewis email me! - Saturday, March 06, 1999 08:59:28 PM
Thank you for providing a forum for our talk. I have two old barns in Northern Kentucky that need new roofs and could use new siding too. Is there any good reason not to lay a new tin roof of the same profile right on top of the old roof? And is there any good reason not to put new hemlock or cedar siding right on top of old siding that is still strong but VERY shrunk and warped? Being able to do this would save a huge amount of time and hassle. What can you suggest?? Thanks, David.

Nathan Rand email me! - Tuesday, March 09, 1999 10:15:45 PM
From Central Iowa--I have an curved rafter design barn from early 1900s. I am going to have it reroofed this summer and I plan to paint it. However, I notice that sunshine is visible between some of the vertical slats of wood making up the walls. This is especially visible in the haymow. What is the best way to patch these spots so that rain doesn't get in and rot the wood? Grandpa always used to patch it with some time of compound but I don't know what it was. He would also sometimes "glue" small pieces of wood into the hole and paint over them. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.

Alan email me! - Friday, March 12, 1999 04:58:43 AM
Very interesting site and I am pleased to read about all the different styles of barn. They are obviously very different to barns built in Australia and one of the main reasons for this I would consider would be different weather conditions. Interested in different farming methods and I recommend a new site for farming discussion,

Al Hybsha email me! - Friday, March 12, 1999 11:54:39 PM
mulebarn So.Central Kansas capacity 100 built late 1800's all lumber was hauled by wagon 90x40 double hayloft for loose hay decked by three cupola's with a driveway in the middle the entire length to accomodate teams and hayracks. a tornado in 1927 removed the cupolas Wish to completely restore. used to have auctions of kentucky mules.

Bill Warren email me! - Saturday, March 13, 1999 04:19:10 PM
Under my barn (described earlier) I have a well which was capped to make room for the barn. I hope to excavate the well ... one of these days. It is lined with hand formed bricks. As someone explained to me several years ago, when they capped well, they would dump a lot of brush into the well, and then put on 2 - 4 feet of dirt/clay and then throw on some bricks, stones, etc. to keep the dirt in place. Over time, I was told, the brush rots away and the dirt cap becomes a free-stand cap. I was told to take off the cap and then dig at least 4 feet into the bottom of the well to get all the artifacts, if any. Has anyone tried this? The well was capped in 1872. I'd like comments please.

carl marchi email me! - Friday, March 19, 1999 08:09:09 AM
I have always wanted to make a studio home out of a small barn or large garage. When I explain it to people they think I'm a bit nuts. Thank you for proving them wrong!!!

SW email me! - Saturday, March 20, 1999 02:45:02 PM
I have a barn that is of historic interest to OUR FAMILY, in that it was built around 1920s (I think) and my grandfather fell off the roof and hurt his back so badly that for years his family was affected by his pain. Even without knowing all the SPECIFIC history, this barn is interesting TO ME because of its barn beauty, its horse-related history (now a thing of the past for most working farms), and the memories I have of talking with my dad as he milked when I was a very young girl. I need a historical preservation consultant and then some contractor/workers who are not so expensive that I can't afford to do this. The barn is still used--it stores a heavy load of clover in round bales in the haymow that was designed for loose hay (this turns out to have caused unforeseen structural problems so we are now feeding it out) and some miscellany elsewhere--and provides a maze for loading cattle out one of the doors and an area for treating one or two when they need it. The person who works the farm for me is a fine guy but doesn't share my interest in history or organic farming. And though maintenance is part of his share of the agreement, he is busy with many things and that is low on the list. I need help! The barn/my farm is in north MO. I would like to restore it. Two uses that I envision MIGHT be complementary: 1)more usefulness for the animals we raise and 2)stalls for organic producers in this area to sell their organic wares (one day a week in the summer, maybe) and maybe a small lunch counter (same schedule) since I know of someone who would like to do that part. Right now, if you could help me with the restoring part with info about resources in MO, I'd be grateful. Thanks so much for this site!

Sarah email me! - Sunday, March 21, 1999 02:02:24 PM
Hi, I'm Italian and I've just moved to the US. I fell in love with the barns I saw in the Hamptons, LI. Unfortunately, I didn't find any for sale. I would like to build a new one, or, even better, buy an old one and move it there. I have no idea of how much it would cost to either build a new one or to buy an old one in reasonable condition and to relocate it to LI. Is there anyone who could help me with prices and specialty realters for the purchase of a barn? Thank you Ciao Sarah

Tammy email me! - Tuesday, March 23, 1999 08:13:06 PM
Hi! My son is doing a report on colonial times. His topic is barns. However, I find very little out there that talks about how barns were constructed and how they were really used in colonial times (pre rev. war as per his teacher). Most of the literature is more about daily chores, etc. Does anyone have any suggestions for more detailed information about colonial era barns? Thanks.

richard casselman email me! - Wednesday, March 31, 1999 10:38:37 PM
The traditional timberframing that went into the structures of the old barns has always fascinated me. I spent 30 years in the restoration field examining, documenting, hewing the timbers, and then framing up and raising the buildings when completed. If anyone is interested in the techniques on how to use the traditional tools please give me an Email for more discussion Richard the northern hewer


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