Monday, May 9, 2016

Goodbye Barn

She was a beautiful old barn.  Built some time after WWII, by the patriarch who built the original part of our house and collected all those old railroad wheels that are now part of our porches and fences.

A good solid oak barn that developed roof problems, and was not attended to for decades.  When we first bought this place she was leaning over at a dangerous angle, and I cranked her back into relative square with the hopes of fixing her up after we finished reworking the house.

Her bones were too far gone. 

In early April, with the garden planted and the weather perfect, the kids and I decided on a Saturday morning to start taking her down, in an orderly fashion.

If I wasn't such a sucker for aged, rough sawn, rock hard oak, it would have been much simpler to burn her down, or push her over and pick through the rubble.  But between the rotten sections, there were lovely rafters and floor boards that deserved another life in something.

While the kids were still allowed in the loft...

Veeery carefully, the high rafters were taken down.

Good wood was de-nailed and stacked, tin was sorted and stacked, and the pace was relaxed.  No deadlines on this, just a pleasant way to spend a cool morning or evening.  

Alexe joined us periodically.

These things add color to a childhood, no?




When the back and right hand wall were close to coming down, there was a pause to put up some fencing to keep the animals back.

Then more plugging...

 Getting the last few sections of above-head work down, without injury, was a good feeling.  

Annaliese focused on de-nailing lumber.  Caspian "tended" the many fires.

All the rafters safely down.

The last four walls.

Last three walls.

Last two walls.

And gone, foundation stones removed.  A little less than a month later.  As I said, not a rushed project, fit into a few slow evenings and crisp Saturday mornings.  

Now we're dreaming of where to put the new barn, and what it's going to look like, and what sort of fun things I will get to build into it.