The mill is an ideal example of how these early structures can be preserved for modern-day use. Owners
When the Galeys bought the farm 27 years ago, the barn was sagging a bit, he said, so they installed concrete piers in the parlor level for support. The Galeys raise Romney sheep and use the bank barn for hay and other storage, he said. Bob does woodworking and bowl turning and Jean spins and dyes wool for making historic throws.
Galey is not sure when the barn was constructed but has seen a photograph taken in 1900 in which the barn stood. Timber-frame and barn expert
"The barn is in excellent condition," Fitzgerald said during a recent educational tour of the barn for Barnstormer docents. Construction details, such as circular saw blade marks on timbers, hardware and methods of construction, provide clues as to when a barn was built, he said.
But barns are not like cars, where you can date a car just by looking at it. "When the agriculture industry changed, it just didn't happen the way it does with model years of cars," Fitzgerald said, and sometimes construction techniques overlapped.
Fitzgerald can read those details to help date and tell the story of a barn. And many of the owners know the story of their barns.
"I milked cows until I was 86. I decided I wanted to see how other people live," he said with a smile.
"I enjoy it. I'm lucky I can do a lot of what I do at 91," he said. "I like the country life." He grew up in the log farmhouse and his father recalled when the bank barn was built. The date is carved in one of the timbers, 1890.
"They tore down the old barn and used logs and boards from the original barn," Smith said. The timbers show signs of ax hewing.
The bank barn is still used for hay storage and feeding, and it holds a lot of memories for Smith, too. His grandfather was killed in a horse and wagon accident outside the barn. Family reunions, church services and picnics, a grandson's wedding and meetings of a beagle club have been held in the barn. And there are the memories of "hard work and sweat" on hot summer days loading hay into the barn.
"I remember when they put the tin on in the '40s," Smith said. "A man from
Fitzgerald said Smith's barn is unique in the way it was built. Docents will be at each barn during the tour to share some of the details of construction and the story those details weave about the barn.
"Every farm on this year's tour has more than one building to see and most have multiple buildings," Fitzgerald said. At
The stone end bank barn at
The tour, he said, is not just about barns, "it's what our forefathers did for us and our values, and trying to leave things better" for the next generation.
Education has always been a focus of the tours, but this year that component will be expanded. At each farm there will be demonstrations including how to install a standing seam roof, blacksmithing, a harness set-up for a horse team, early gas engines used to run early 20th-century farm equipment, hewing beams and joinery.
Artists at work
Trained docents will be at each barn of the self-guided tour. So will artists, who will set up their easels and create paintings and drawings of the barns for the show and sale held immediately after the tour from
"We have 45 artists," said
The night before the tour, each artist will be randomly assigned to a farm and will work on their painting on-site during the tour for visitors to observe. About two-thirds of the artists are from
After the tour, the paintings will be framed and displayed at
"Last year, this event raised about
"What's not to like about barns," Poole said. "It's a really fun event."
The eighth annual Barnstormers tour and plein-air paint out is from
Docents will be at each barn on this self-guided tour. Artists will set up their easels and create paintings and drawings which will be presented in a show and sale at
During the tour, visitors can view the MPT documentary "Historic Barns of
Out of the Blue will perform at the show and sale, performing old-time music on mandolin, guitar and fiddle.
Proceeds from the tour, show and sale (a portion of art sales) will be used for programs and projects of the tour sponsor,
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