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Friday, June 5, 2015

1819 "BEACON" BARN


1819 Rockcastle Homestead Barn

When I lived in Kentucky I was taken in by the spirit of barns. They represented so much of our rural heritage and our past personal individualism. Central Kentucky still has many of these ancient barns crouched on the land. The barns seem to speak to many folks -- as they fly by on the road in their vehicles -- saying to them  "remember when." 


Log granary section of 1819 barn


Vintage barns are like genes -- all different. Built by folks that toiled on the land yet had a certain freedom that is not known today. The above 1819 barn began as a log granary and as the farm grew, plank board additions were added.  The final barn was a "beacon" of a coming together within a family to produce the best they could.



1819 barn --  Plank Board Door

Strength and endurance paid off. No rules and regulations to tell them what they could do with their land. No federal fees to pay or forms to fill out if one wanted to grow organically and no corporate overseers of your farm.  No animals with white tags punched in their ears. Not in the early years. 



1819 Barn --  Tin  Roof

Hundreds of "beacon" barns still stand in Kentucky. Many of them alone and decaying. And yet  they have many stories to tell us. If only we would take the time to listen to them.





17 comments:

  1. I think what makes those barns look so special is that they were made from scratch with hand tools.

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    1. Hattie --- the barn builders were craftsmen. They could take simple tools and craft something as large as a barn -- sometimes it was a small beginning like the log granary. thanks -- barbara

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  2. I think it is wonderful that you have history of these places. Glad someone is documenting their beauty. We have many tobacco barns that are dying ever so slowly. The last tobacco auction was held in the county a few years ago.

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    1. Tabor -- Some day in the future a person will run into a barn in the back country and wonder what the barn is all about. We seem to be a country of tear it down and rebuild something new. A throw away country I would say. thanks -- barbara

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  3. You must live in a photographer's and historian's heaven!

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    1. visualnorway -- My experience is that cities are tear-down zones -- nothing seems worthwhile for long. The countryside is behind the tear-down mentally so one can find cultural values much easier.

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  4. A great study in shapes--logs and planks.

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    1. Joanne -- thanks for your nice comment -- barns have become ancient dwellings. -- barbara

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  5. We might call this "obituary of a barn" and the barn becomes a symbol for the whole society. Wonderful pictures and thought provoking comments. Thank you.

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    1. June -- I agree, "obituary of a barn." would have been a good title. Barns are key features of our culture. We developed as a country depending on the hundreds of farms. -- thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  6. Very cool, wonderful photos. Love the light and shadow.

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    1. Teresa -- Enjoy taking photos of barns as well as the outbuildings that still can be found clustering around them. thanks -- barbara

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  7. What a well cared for 1819 barn, which has endured until the 21st Century. So glad you were able to capture photos of it. Thanks!

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    1. Barbara -- Can you believe that this barn is still in the family of the original 1819 pioneer family that settled this farm. that is why it is cared for. thanks -- barbara

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  8. It's the same here in Alabama, Barbara. We have two on my family's property - one built by my grandfather and one built by my great grandfather. Both in a sad state of neglect. It makes me very sad. That way of life is gone, and it's very sad. My 79 year old father suffering with the onset of Alzheimers can't remember yesterday, but he still remembers his childhood growing up on the farm. That's where he lives in his mind these days, and the barns seem to reflect what is happening to him. So, so sad.

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    1. Starr -- I hope you are collecting the words of your father -- his stories would be a great legacy for your boys. And also photos of the barns, even though they are in decline would be great to go with the words of your father. Alzheimers is tough. My mother had it. What a wonderful history you have in your family farm. thanks -- barbara

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  9. Great capture of this barn. The stories it could tell, I bet.

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