Diamond in the Rough

Have you ever started a simple project and next thing you know it works into much more than what was originally planned?

We originally decided to build a simple lean-to off the Old Indian Creek hip roof barn but then it becomes this huge undertaking of moving a barn that will become an awesome addition!

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The old barn – diamond in the rough Just waiting to be taken down piece by piece to be erected back up on our farm.

It seems like when you least expect it opportunities present themselves to you.  My husband had an inquiry about  demolition an old barn on their property afraid of personal injury.  So, one Sunday afternoon we went on a road trip to check the barn out.  As we pulled up we were surprised to discover that it was in great shape.  Making our way down the lane I noticed the broken fence that was hanging on the post, once a barrier keeping the cows in and strangers out.  Weeds were waist-high, with years of growth allowing them to tangle amongst themselves.  Once we got closer to the mammoth beast  we discovered what the demise was the foundation that was beginning to crumple underneath the tall beauty’s weight.  Honeysuckle vines were clinging to the faded red barn siding trying to keep it protected from the harsh weather.    At the peak of the barn was a cathedral style window still intact indifferent to the  many years of Michigan’s unpredictable weather beating against the glass.

I was in awe of the stone foundation that was strategically stacked by hand over one hundred years ago, now just beginning to fall out-of-place.  Each granite stone different from each other, hues of green, blue, gray, black, white, and red.  Each field stone hand cut and fit in together, one on top of another, to create a work of art situated in the countryside where only the farmer would appreciate its beauty.

Working our way around the rustic gambrel roof structure we peaked inside the basement the hay bunk and cow stanchions still stood wondering when the cows would come home.  I stood imagining how farming must have been over hundred years ago when farming was a common profession.   You could almost see the cows standing there with their heads in the stanchions, munching on the fresh silage snack, the farmer walking behind talking to each of them as he placed the milk machine on each cow.  The chickens running around pecking the ground looking for tidbits of corn.

Climbing the narrow rickety stairs upstairs it opened up to the vast hay mow.  Faded piles of loose hay were the only remnants of when it was a probably packed to the rafters with hay and straw to feed the livestock all year-long.  Wide tongue and groove plank walled off the corner where the granary once stored the oats, wheat or corn for feed.  A mixture of hand hewed and milled beams crisscrossed each other from the floor to the roof.  The hard wood beams stretched the length and height of the barn held together by wooden pegs or chiseled joints.  Every beam solid and stately keeping the mammoth rustic barn from collapsing in a heap year after year while the relentless seasonal weather tries to push it over.

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Taking the barn down piece by piece

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Every timber or board is kept so that the barn can be put back up just like it originally was.

After admiring this diamond in the rough we began to dream of how we could relocate the barn to Old Indian Creek Farm.  The dream is now becoming a reality as the red wood siding,  massive wood beams, wide plank flooring, windows, doors and even the cut field stone is taken apart one at a time.  Hauled on our semi trailer from one historic farm to another.  Where the one time stately agriculture structure will be rehabilitated so that others can once again appreciate what it once was.

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Site where the new/old barn will be erected back up piece by piece. The pillars are the new foundation for the addition.