Barn Guestbook Archive: July - September 1999

The Round Barn email me! - Friday, July 02, 1999 04:46:13 PM We run a charming arts and crafts business out of our one-of-a-kind round barn located in Northern Ontario. There aren't any others in the area like The Round Barn!!

keith email me! - Thursday, July 08, 1999 02:24:27 PM
Love the site! Hi everyone. I would LOVE to find out more about what I (mistakenly I suppose) call barn lore ... or facts, details about why they are the way they are ... information along the lines of Mr. Leik's explanatin for why barns are red ... also, for example, what is the wind eye, and did that become what we know as 'window' ... sounds like it, but I can never find good resources to elaborate on these bits of info ... please email if you know any web sites or books that take up this information ... keith

Deirdre email me! - Monday, July 12, 1999 09:44:52 PM
This is a wonderful web site. I am looking to buy a barn and renovate it into a studio/home anywhere is Metro West Boston,Ma area,or Central Mass area or Southern NH. If anyone knows of an available barn or a resource I could contact I would appreciate it. Thanks.

Kate email me! - Wednesday, July 14, 1999 04:11:16 AM
I recently had the idea to start my own collection of photos of mail pouch and pepsi logos. I have found a few on my own and am willing to share my limited list. I am also interested in a little help finding more. Thanks.

curt m email me! - Saturday, July 17, 1999 09:05:48 AM
Hi All, Just discovered your page and find it fascinating. We just purchased a ca1740 farm here in the panhandle of West Virginia, complete with an old stone barn that is in desparate need of restoration. We plan to file a grant application with the state preservation office for assistance in restoring it to its original (or near original) condition, but with the intent of using it as a garage for vintage automobiles. The farm is described in our website at the following URL. Any thoughts/experiences on how best to approach the barn project would be appreciated. The stone work is cracked and twisted (in places), the roof does have some powderpost beetle damage but is holding the present corrogated tin sheets pretty well. We are assuming the original roof was shingle or shake, but don't have much to go on to confirm that assumption. Email us if you would like additional pics or information. Thanks, Curt Mason

curt m email me! - Saturday, July 17, 1999 09:09:05 AM
One More thing: There is a concrete silo next to our barn that detracts from the pre-revolutionary character of the property. We are considering demolition of the silo (which is made out of what appear to be interlocking blocks). Has anybody had experience with such structures? i.e. when were these in fashion, how were they constructed, how easy are they to take down. Ours is about 30 ft high and 20ft in diameter? Perhaps most importantly, does anybody know of a contractor that would handle the demolition in the WV Panhandle area? Thanks Curt Mason

Fred email me! - Sunday, July 18, 1999 01:41:48 PM
I recently inherited my Dad's farm which includes an old barn and other old buildings. They are delapidated and falling down. I am looking for people who want to buy old barn boards and lumber. Even though the buildings are in bad shape, there is a lot of good lumber in them. These buildings are over 100 years old. Thanks. Fred

Julie & Al email me! - Wednesday, July 21, 1999 11:30:03 PM
We have a 26x64 barn, over 100 years old on approx. 200 acres in southwest Michigan. The barn leans and is settling to the west. Needs straightening, has a good roof and good hay mow. Some vertical main timbers are rotted. Good horizontal timbers. Need to find someone interested in this restoration project. Please contact us.

Bob Nathan email me! - Monday, July 26, 1999 12:44:52 PM
We just moved onto a property in suburban philadelphia that contains a circa 175+ yr home and a barn from about mid 1800's. The bank barn is all original with stalls below and a lot of the post and peg beamed construction. On three sides it is supported by a very substantial stone foundation but on the low side (bottom of the hill) a center beam that goes to the ground is a bit rotted at the base. The beam is at much larger than any replacement that could be obtained so the question is whether a steel column on a cement base (close to the bad beam)is the best repair. I can already see the roof sagging a little but failure is not imminent since the roof is in good shape and the beam that I just described is the only obvious defect. Any advice will be appreciated since have few if any barn people around here. Every one wants to make it into condos but we want to keep it original as possible. The barn also has a wood silo that is about 20 feet over the second floor(reachable by a ladder) with a chute that goes through the second floor to the area where the stalls are on the lower level. The silo is only 5 ft. high and looks like a phone company cable spool when viewed from below. Anyone know why the silo placed was so high, it's age and/or how it was used.

Carol McKenzie email me! - Tuesday, July 27, 1999 03:07:26 PM
Eddie Robberts, Please e-mail me. We have an old red barn which still has the visible Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco sign on its side. Do you ever come to Michigan? If not, I have some old pictures from a few years ago I might be able to share with you as soon as I learn how to use my new scanner. I too am an educator and would love to hear from you.

Dave Stanford email me! - Thursday, July 29, 1999 03:36:34 AM
I grew up in New Boston and Portsmouth NH. We had great barns at both houses. I have 2 questins for the kids in webland(that's YOU!). I understand that the reason that NH lacked decrepit old picturesque hulks as found elsewhere is that the tax laws favored removing instantly any useless barns to save money. Also I was wondering if other states outside New England ever used ells between the house and barn to facilitate feeding etc in deep snow time.

Lucy Putnam email me! - Tuesday, August 03, 1999 01:22:04 PM
I live in N.E. Wisconsin. We have many old barns here, but it seems that we lose several every year. Is there an organization dedicated to the preservation of old barns in this area or Wisconsin..or nation-wide? Thanks, just found your web site- will visit often. Lucy Putnam (

Den Burk email me! - Sunday, August 08, 1999 12:45:13 AM
I am trying to find out how to locate "registered" Mailpouch barns. Are these barns on the National Historic Register or are they registered on a state or county level? I am particularily interested in barns found in Washington county, Ohio. I am an artist and I plan to do a series of pen and ink drawings as soon as I can locate them.

Lori email me! - Friday, August 13, 1999 07:54:16 PM
Great website! Barns are absolutely stunning - especially with our two horses in it! Can anyone recommend an easy, inexpensive way to build a 2 horse barn OR simply a run-in-shed to protect our two from the inclement weather? Please e-mail me direct!

Jim email me! - Saturday, August 14, 1999 07:36:23 AM
During a recent trip to Sweden, we noticed that most old (17th-18th century) barns had very impressive basements, or lower levels, usually made out of very large stones. Most of the time, these basements had very large, heavy doors as well. Because these basements seemed to be such an important part of each barn, we began to think that they originally must have been built for a special purpose. Can anyone provide us with insight into what this purpose was? Thanks!

Al Brock email me! - Wednesday, August 18, 1999 01:11:16 AM
Just found this incredible site. Thanks for the effort. there is an old barn on the place I live on. I am trying to buy the property from my dad and was wondering if there was any help here to restore the barn. I have rejuvinated the house first. (the front room was the first school in this area.) The histoical society says that something of note had to happen in the barn to qualify and as such am at a loss. Almost every weekend people stop and take pictures and has been done by artists in both sketch and paint. If you know of anyone here in Idaho who may be of assistance I would appreciate the help. Thanks.

Kirstin Dougan email me! - Tuesday, August 24, 1999 08:31:00 PM
Re: Why are barns red? When questions of such a strange nature come up, I like to get the "Straight Dope" on the matter. Cecil addresses the red barn question at the following URL:

Mark Kluemper email me! - Wednesday, August 25, 1999 09:12:26 PM
The most simple answer I can give is a synopsis of comments I learned while visiting Frank Lloyd Wright's 'Taliesin' in Spring Green Wisconsin. Farmers looking for an inexpensive way to preserve these utilitarian wooden structures stumbled across a natural way to add pigment to a common household element: linseed oil. Barns were typically constructed atop limestone foundations, and probably just after losing one to an accidental fire, the farmer noticed the phenomenon that occurs when limestone burns--It turns to a reddish powdered substance. Simply adding this pigment to linseed oil achieved the desired result of a cheap, longlasting preservative.

CHRISTINA email me! - Thursday, August 26, 1999 01:51:37 AM
I have just found this incredible site and at a better time. Iím looking for ideas and pictures to build our barn to live in. Our idea is to make the loft our living space and still use the bottom as a barn. If any ideas or pictures please feel free to write. Thank you.

Anne email me! - Tuesday, August 31, 1999 10:09:38 AM
What a GREAT site!!! We are looking for info/links to people who go around the country doing barn razings in return for food/place to camp out, and in return, the person(s) helped must be willing to do the same for others. Does anyone have such info? I read about this in a timber frame article which, of course, I cannot now find. We are retirees on limited income, but have 9 children and many relatives who have promised to help us...none of whom have ever put up a barn!!! Thanks for any help you can give us!

DARLENE email me! - Tuesday, August 31, 1999 08:39:55 PM
We have a 1886 barn, 50 feet long bye 40 feet wide and roughly 45 feet to the peek. It is constructed of hemlock, a post and beam barn. We are South West of Albany New York, In the Hudson Valley. The barn was used for horses, and hay storage. We are building a new house and the barn must come down. Does anyone know who I can contact that would be interested in removing and restoring the barn before I take it down.? The beams are in good shape and I hate to see it destroyed. Thank You.

Anita email me! - Wednesday, September 01, 1999 05:36:17 PM
I was excited to find this website!!! I was raised in a barn that was built by my daddy and grand-daddy. We had actually started using the barn to store the tractor when my mother decided we needed a house instead of a barn--she was pregnant with my sister at the time and we lived in a small trailer. After a few minor adjustments we had a house with bedrooms in the loft!!! I'm interested in preserving barns and the heritage that goes with them. I'd like to hear from some southern barn people I'm in Georgia. Keep up the good work.

Joonie Groves email me! - Thursday, September 02, 1999 11:01:21 AM
I grew up in Kansas in the middle of wheat and grain elevators in ones back yard. These where always gray or white..however the barns are always red. I dont think being a German area had much to do with it but I was told by our next door neighbor, a farmer , that red was not expensive paint and one could see the barn if painted red in a good snow storm.This idea stuck with me having seen a few good snow storms in Kansas.

Art Pence email me! - Thursday, September 02, 1999 05:02:22 PM
I always undestood that the red barn paint was made from a cheap pigment that could be combined with milk (which farmers had in abundant supply) to produce a paint that cost next to no hard cash. Paint was important in preserving the wood of the barns and making them last. It was also used on covered bridges, for the same reasons. I grew up in south eastern New Hampshire and I have lived in northern Virginia for the last 25 years.

Becky Lynn Owens-McElroy email me! - Thursday, September 02, 1999 11:03:47 PM
I grew up in Nowata, Oklahoma and still remember my grandparents' barn. The history of the land as it was told to me was that it had belonged to an Indian way back when. The house was around 100 years old and the barn was at least 150 years old. My Grandpa loved to paint so he painted the barn with all the sheep around it while he sat on the front porch many years ago. I was given that very painting after he passed away, but my soon to be ex-husband took it. The barn was constructed with wooden pegs, 3 story(I believe)and built on the side of a hill. You could put all the cows in the bottom at night. Drive a tractor in the front sliding doors that had another set at the opposite end, where you could throw the hay out onto the tractor and trailer or just down there below to feed the cows. That floor had large stalls on the left and somewhat small grain bins built in on the right and you could see all the way to the top of the barn. I still remember looking up into the 2 airvents(?) in the roof and seeing lots of pigeons. When my dad was growing up he would go to the barn and open up both big doors and play his guitar until late into the evening. Grandma said that you could here it all over the section line. It had a ladder that led to the loft where they would store loose hay. I remember that it had 2 small windows in the loft on both ends and bigger windows on the 2nd floor and very few down the sides. I wish I had a picture right now to show everyone but I dont at the present. About 3 years ago a tornado struck my hometown and took out the barn (what was left). We had some historians come out before then and said it was a landmark mainly because of the wooden pegs and its age. But we never got it financed to fix up, but I wish we could have. Its still the most beautiful barn I've ever seen in my mind. And looking through lots of pics here, I still cant find one even close to what it looked like. If anybody has a picture somewhat close in resemblence please e-mail me with it. I havent been able to go home and visit in over 5 years and would love to see if anyone has an idea of what it looked like. Thank you, Becky Lynn Owens

Antoine email me! - Saturday, September 04, 1999 08:00:04 PM
Barns were painted red because farmers in the old days used to make a farm manufactured paint using the blood of slaughtered animals mixed with a glue made by a gel produced by boiling animals bones,this gave a dark red colour that became a traditional colour for barns later in time when regular paints became available.

Gwen email me! - Sunday, September 05, 1999 02:54:26 PM
I have just returned from a trip on the Lincoln Hwy Heritage Corridor in PA. There are a few Mail Pouch barns in Bedford County, PA just off Route 30 that are in great shape. There are also alot along the PA Turnpike from Breezwood to Pittsburgh.

Rich email me! - Monday, September 06, 1999 03:43:38 PM
Thanks for the insight on why barns are painted red. Now, have another question. Why are fire engines red?

Kate Sullivan email me! - Tuesday, September 07, 1999 04:54:16 PM
Hi from Nebraska. This site is wonderful and Sooo helpful. We're refurbishing our barn, in hopes of restaging a barn dance like ones held there at the turn of the century. But oh we have work to do. What's the best way to get all the dust out of everything -- vacuuming with a shop vac? Will power washing hurt the wood? How can I get rid of the "hog" smell (that was the last use for the barn -- some 10 years ago -- farrowing hogs). Any help will be appreciated. Kate Sullivan at Cedar Rapids, Nebraska.

Todd Anderson email me! - Tuesday, September 07, 1999 08:41:36 PM
I live in north central Wisconsin. I am interested in salvaging barnboard for woodworking projects. If anyone has any information or contacts with information, please e-mail me.

Anthony Bell email me! - Wednesday, September 08, 1999 01:56:09 AM
Does anyone know of any resourses (advice,help,money...) for saving barns in Western Canada? We have an old cow barn (used until the fifties) in the Monoshee Mountains in British Columbia and are hoping to restore it as a recreation facility. We would like to start on it before the winter begins (we typically get 30-40 feet of snow) which starts to arrive in a few weeks. Any help welcome. Anthony, Rossland, BC

JoAnn Fettrow email me! - Thursday, September 09, 1999 07:20:25 PM
I am just wanting information on the barns with cupolas seen in NE Illinois. They are very large. What is the purpose of the cupola or was there a purpose. Is it just decorative? Thanks.

Chris Brinker email me! - Friday, September 10, 1999 01:59:41 AM
I am very interested in having my wedding pictures done with a "Mail Pouch" barn as my back drop. My wedding is in September 2000 and I'm looking for a barn in the Westmoreland county Pennsylvania area. Anyone who knows of one or can help me with resources on how to locate "Mail Pouch" barns in my area wil recieve my deepest gratitude. Please E-mail me at Thank you very much. Chris

Vladamir email me! - Monday, September 13, 1999 03:01:54 AM
Well, since you asked...Why are Fire Engines Red? Cause.... Roses are Red Too..and two and two is four...four and four is eight..eight and four is twelve..there are twelve inches in a ruler..Queen Mary was a ruler..Queen Mary was also a ship..and ships sail the seas..The seas have fish..and fish have fins..the Fins fish for salmon..and salmons are known as Reds..Russians are also known as Reds..and that is why fire engines are red, cause there rushing......

Elmer Napier email me! - Monday, September 13, 1999 08:48:32 AM
My wife and are retired educators. As a project or something to keep us busy we are photographing Mail Pouch Barns. Thus far we have just over 90 barns in easter Ohio and western West Virginia. I have a list of barns in West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvana and Indiana. I do not have a list of barns from any other state. I would like to share my list and barns I have photographer with anyone intersted. If you are a barn hunter you know how fustrating it can be if you have a list of barns and you go and they are no longer there it makes it eaiser if you know the barn still stands.

Keith Laursen email me! - Monday, September 13, 1999 02:48:21 PM
Does anyone know where I can find a "rafter table" or info on building a gambrel style roof? What I would like to do is find a table that would list a various widths and a decription on how one determines the length and angle of the cuts for the rafters. Thanks!

Dena email me! - Wednesday, September 15, 1999 06:16:11 PM
I love this site. I have found it so helpful in beginning my research for my senior thesis. I am focusing my research on the challenge of converting a barn into a home while at the same time respecting the structural integrity and the importance of barns as a landmark of our history. Any information related to this subject would be of great help. Also, any information from people who have completed barn conversions would be great. Thanks and keep loving barns!!!!!

Dawn B email me! - Saturday, September 18, 1999 11:46:14 PM
Does anyone have any information on any other sites that have information on mailpouch tobacco barns? I have looked for quite a while and can't seem to find any. Thanks!!!!

Greg N. email me! - Monday, September 20, 1999 06:53:55 PM
Wanted for restoration project: Small pre-1900 barn that is suitable to be dismantled and restored. Approximate size range 18' by 20' with hewn beams desired. Willing to travel in the New York and New England area. Fair price paid. New Hartford, Connecticut

Deborah email me! - Monday, September 27, 1999 07:41:48 PM
This is a great web site. My husband and I are going to restore a 100 + year old barn into our home and need to chat with other folks that have done this. Any input would be wonderful.

Terry email me! - Wednesday, September 29, 1999 08:22:34 AM
Hello fellow barn lovers. I am very interested in receiving folklore, myths, superstitions or stories about ROUND barns. In reading an article about round barns it was intimated that their was some interest in round barns by some folks because there were no corners for evil spirits to reside. If you've heard some of these stories and would be willing to share them with me, I'd appreciate it. If you own or know someone that has a round barn and have general stories concerning round barns that you would like to share, I'd appreciate hearing from you. Thank you.

Becky email me! - Thursday, September 30, 1999 04:09:46 PM
This is great!, I'm building a barn to live in and yes it's RED!

Joyce email me! - Thursday, September 30, 1999 07:58:07 PM
I recently inherited my Grandfather's farm in Western New York which includes an large old barn. It is delapidated and ready to fall down. I am looking for people who want to buy old barn boards and lumber. Even though the buildings are in bad shape, there is a lot of good lumber in them. These buildings are over 100 years old. Has hand hewed beams. Thanks. David


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