Couple of days ago I posted an “aside” about the relatively high number of weddings that are held in barns. Over the years there have been a number of area farmers who have employed their barns for non-agricultural purposes. Back in the 80s a fellow named Black had a party barn north of Greenfield. I went to a number of class reunions there. A Hillsboro veterinarian converted his old barn into a music venue and had a band fire up about every Saturday night.
Old barns, however, are quickly becoming things of the past. They were built for a time when farmers didn’t have huge machines and just needed a barn to store hay and provide shelter for their animals. A modern combine just won’t fit so old barns have been either left to crumple or be replaced with a modern metal pole barn.
What is happening around the nation is happening here as well. One commonly drives past an old barn that has collapsed into itself. One barn that is still alive and well belongs to John and Wendy Royce. Several years ago they put a lot of money and sweat into restoring a wooden barn that has stood on their farm for decades. Of course, right next door is the obligatory steel pole barn where John stores his modern farm machinery and his collection of antique tractors.
Cheryl Collier, another MHS graduate, has been a photographer for most of her life. One of her projects over the years has been to preserve on film as many old barns as she can. There’s an artist who lives near Cincinnati who has often visited Highland County and put some of our barns on canvas.
I doubt we’ll ever see these relics of days gone by make a return. But it’s nice to know that there are people interested in, one way or another, preserving the memory.
NOTE: If anyone has any old photos of barns they’d like to have posted here just email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.