Around the time of the Civil War, nearly 85% of Americans lived and worked on a farm. Today, the number is less than 5%. The few barns still remaining in our countryside are iconic representations of a bygone era. They trace their roots from our ingenious, practical and hardworking ancestors who came to this country from England and Europe in the 1700 and early 1800′s. They are disappearing before our eyes as a result of neglect and the changes brought on by modern farming methods.
Occasionally, we have the opportunity to save a timber-framed barn or house and incorporate the antique frame into a new home. We typically incorporate them into a home’s great room or kitchen/dining areas. These are hand hewn structures that were slated for demolition before we were able to find them. They are carefully documented and dismantled, then repaired cleaned and reassembled on their new site. Having had the privilege of exploring hundreds of timber-frame barns and houses over the last thirty-five years, we have developed a good eye for what to look for.
The raising of a new barn was a momentous and spirited occasion, involving the entire surrounding community. The barn was the most important and expensive building on the farm and all the neighbors gathered to lend a hand.