Once a majestic architectural building is now just a ran shackled pile of remains of the old days. The excavator machine seems to come alive clamping on to wooden beams and chunks of wood. Twisting and turning the excavator grabs and drops heavy wood. As it reaches for the roof the claw on the bucket just eats through the roof that was caved in from the many years of storms and lack of upkeep. It crumbles in a heap. Then it reaches up and out as far as it can go grabbing hold of the wall. Pulling on the side it creaks and groans but won’t let go until finally it can’t hold on anymore it smashes in one whole piece on the ground. The machine tracks over the piles of crumpled up wood, clank, clank, clank. Reaching out for more wood to satisfy it’s hunger. Finally, it comes to a rest.
We rummage through the remains searching for anything that might be worth salvaging. “This barn was a beauty in her day wasn’t she?” I ask.
Just a barn but built to last for generations. Looking closely at the beams you can see that they are hand hewed. Each beam beginning its life as a tree then carefully hand constructed by a broad ax into the square pillars that held the barn for so many years. Each beam has hand carved notches and corresponding holes with hand made pegs to interlock all together giving the structure more strength when they would load it to the peak with mounds of hay. The only nails used were the ones to keep the red, wooden tongue and grove siding in place on the outside.
Looking around at the heap of wood it’s sad to see another architectural wonder fall victim to the storms and lack of care. We were told that the original elderly couple that lived there before them received money from the insurance company when a storm came through. They paid a local construction company to fix the roof so the barn could carry on for another hundred years but he started the job only to not come back and fix it.
Lucky, though we have plans for this barn to carry on it’s legacy because we have one of those big hip roofed red barns that we are trying to restore to her natural beauty. So, all of those hand hewn beams, interlocking hard wood flooring and red siding that hasn’t rotted away from this barn will be used to help another. Salvaging one to save another.