Each year, at our annual conference, we are proud to present our Barn of the Year awards in three categories. The Agricultural BOY award this year was presented to The Poorman Barn, built in 1819 in Somerset, Ohio. We don’t often have the chance to see a barn with this rich a history. This beautiful Pennsylvania barn, with its cut stone foundation and deep forebay has been in constant use for nearly 200 years. Nick Wiesenberg took core samples from nine of its timbers and microscopic analysis confirmed the original date as well as timbers that were cut in 1854 for the barn’s later addition. The original barn was scribe ruled as evidenced by the marriage marks carved into its timbers. It also displays a unique double framing system looking like two barn frames in its interior. The Poorman family is to be commended for maintaining this working barn, one of Ohio’s finest, in great condition for several generations.
We are pleased to have awarded Crown Point Ecology Center our Barn of the Year for Adaptive Re-Use. Built in 1910, the bank barn has two unusual interior silos that were for storing silage to feed cattle and horses on the ground level. A hay track enabled storage of hay to its roof and was accessed by tall ladders still found in the barn. The barn has been well maintained over the last 102 years and today serves for program space for “children’s educational events, adult enrichment activities regarding the growing of toxin-free vegetables, rain-barrel Spring classes, Dances of Universal Peace and a diverse group of adult gatherings for communicating the care of all life on planet Earth.” This barn is a perfect example of how we can find ways to save some of our best old barns and put them to good use for generations to come.
Our third award is for a category we just started last year. As judges, we have received many entries over the years that had not found an adaptive re-use and were not being used for agricultural purposes. Nevertheless, they were being well maintained by their owners and kept from decay and destruction. They realized the value and history the barns represented. We felt they too should be recognized and we therefore created the Stewardship award. The Oyster Barn, near Alliance, is a marriage of two barn types, the very early period double crib log barn and the tree bay timber framed barn. It is a double forebay with an overall length of 57 feet. Its original logs are 18-20” in diameter. At some point the log barn was converted, a floor was added and a scribe ruled hewn timber frame was built on top of it within ten or twenty years of its original construction. We need Nick to do dendrochronology on this barn to determine when the log structure and the timber frame were actually built but judging from the evidence, it was all completed in the early 1800’s. We once again applaud their efforts to preserve these early icons of Ohio’s agrarian past.
Friends of Ohio Barns is already looking for entries for our 2013 Barns of the Year:
- AGRICULTURAL USE: Barns are judged on their continued agricultural use, physical condition and the efforts made to preserve them.
- ADAPTIVE RE-USE: Barns are judged on their present day use, the completed restoration work, aesthetics and their significance, exposure to and accessibility to their surrounding community.
- STEWARDSHIP: Well maintained barns that do not meet the above categories but serve a family function such as storage or an entertainment structure not readily accessible to the public.
Send in your entries to Dan Troth, 7591 Perry Road, Delaware, OH 43015 or email him at [email protected]. Deadline for submissions is March 31st, 2013.