Yes, we really are getting geared up for the Ohio Barn Conference this year in Butler County – the Board has been working hard at getting it all together and we know it will be a great conference!
We have an interesting line up for speakers this year’s conference:
Thankfully we chose Butler County because Steve Gordon, our Keynote speaker, resides there and was more than gracious to accept our invitation to speak at Saturday’s conference. Steve is the current Museum Administrator for the William Holmes McGuffey Museum located in Oxford as well as the provost and Executive VP for Academic Affairs at Miami University. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in History from Miami University and has worked in the field of historic preservation throughout his career including the Miami Purchase Association for Historic Preservation, the Kentucky Heritage Council, the State Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society, where he oversaw the Ohio Historic Inventory, and the National Register of Historic Places programs. Steve is very much involved with the Three Valley Conservation Trust as well as the MetroParks of Butler County.
A native of Ohio, Steve’s research interests include local and regional architecture, cultural landscapes, craft and building technology, especially vernacular buildings and barns and the study of regional material culture. His publications include How to Complete the Ohio Historic Inventory (1992), as well as articles on the U.S. Grant Birthplace, 19th century prefabricated housing, women architects, Cincinnati’s meat packing industry, maple sugar production in southwest Ohio, and Spring Grove Cemetery. Steve has written and co-authored over fifty nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.
Steve’s presentation will be about historic agriculture in Butler County and how it influenced farm layout and barn design. Steve has been very helpful in organizing our barn tour this year by participating in the barnstorming event and leading the gang to several outstanding barns in the area. He will have a very interesting presentation influenced by his love for historic places and architecture.
We are also very fortunate to have convinced Doug Reed to make the long trip from the other side of Pennsylvania! Doug has extensive knowledge of log crib barns (and we have one on the tour!). His hunt for the earliest known log crib barn has taken him to far-away places. Please read Doug Reed’s bio to get the full picture of what this man is passionate about. Doug has 44 years of experience as a vernacular architectural historian, craftsman and technical consultant. When we asked him to describe his presentation he wrote “In today’s throwaway society, most people think of new as better than old. Too many people have been misled into automatically thinking an old barn is far more expensive to maintain or rehab than to tear it down and build new. For the past 44 years Doug Reed has been in the larger recycling world of maintaining, renovating and re-purposing older buildings. Learn why it is far wiser to keep your old building and banish the thought of new construction when it is not necessary. Using his experience with barns from all over the world, Doug will explain some of why maintaining your older buildings will benefit your local government, your local dump, your local bank account and your regional job market to name only a few”. I am sure that he will be showing some of his fabulous finds in the world of log crib barns as well!
When asked for a bio Ed Creighton claimed “I walk upright, have two legs, breathe air and eat steak!”. Hmmm. I liked it but thought I had better get a bio from his wife, Kathy, for the conference material. She gave me a lot to work with, I was going to edit it but just now decided not to as it reads pretty well. I hope she doesn’t mind. In Kathy’s words: I’ll let you wordsmith it, but he’s a native Cincinnatian, grew up in College Hill. A life-long lover of history, Ed bought his first antique, a victrola, at the age of 9. He also is a life-long lover of the Morgan horse, purchasing his first Morgan at the age of 14 (took a lot of lawn mowing to keep Brassy happy!). Attended both University of Cincinnati and Miami University. Served six years as the regional director of the American Morgan Horse Association, which his greatest achievement was the design and implementation of the Morgan Horse exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park. It was through AMHA that he met his wife, Kathy, and with their marriage in 2008, they had to find a place to keep the herd of Morgans (hmmm, were they my dowry as they came with me from Illinois?), as they wouldn’t fit in the backyard of his house in North College Hill. They purchased their farm on Reily-Millville Road in February 2008, which has now become the home of not only the Morgan horses, but dogs, cats, sheep, alpaca, chickens, turkeys and a rabbit. Ed is a docent with the Heritage Program at Cincinnati Museum Center, the Butler County Historical Society and Heritage Village. He currently serves on the boards of the Friends of the Whitewater Shakers, Museums and Historic Sites of Greater Cincinnati and Friends of MetroParks of Butler County. Until recently, he was the Executive Director at the Oxford Museum Association. He has five children and four grandchildren.
Ed will be speaking about the farm that is one of the most intact, original farms in Butler County. It was built by Revolutionary War General Andrew Lewis and was registered in Hamilton County in 1802 as Butler County hadn’t been formed at that point. It is located along Indian Creek and is locally referred to as the Sample place. There are, most likely, many stories to tell of this farmstead dating back to 1812. Many of the original buildings are still there as well as some Indian mounds.
Ohio’s Canals? If you don’t know anything about them then you will after Tom O’Grady educates us all on the history of the who, what, where, how and why the canals came to be in Ohio. If you don’t know anything about Tom you should know, at least, that he is a barn enthusiast as well as the Director of the Athens County Historical Society and Museum and he also serves on the board of Ohio’s Hill County Heritage Area. Read Tom’s recently updated bio here.
Post Bottom Repairs? This year Ric Beck and Mike Wengler will do a presentation called “Post Bottom Repairs – Simple to Historic Preservation”’ which will be a combination of a power point presentation as well as showing some actual examples and Ric and Mike will even dazzle us by laying out an historic repair, drilling and cutting the piece. Chips will be flying! Ric has served as president of Friends of Ohio Barns for almost 10 years and has many hours under his belt, so to speak, timber framing. Mike, our local hero for this conference, was born in Cincinnati and raised on a farm near Oxford. He wrote me that he grew up playing in an 1864 barn. He spent time in the Bahamas and Florida sailing and diving. His parents still live on that Nichols Rd farm where he grew up with five siblings. Mike started a lawn care business in 1991 then in 2004 he branched out doing excavation work. From OLC Excavating & Construction Mike started his third business, Timber Frame Reclaim. Mike says “I seek to preserve, reuse, and reconstruct antiques timbers, namely barns”. He claims that he has saved nearly 100 barns in Ohio, Kentucky and Georgia. This spring Mike will be deconstructing and moving an 1845 40’x52′ swing beam barn from Liberty, Indiana to Mt Airy, Cincinnati for the purpose of a dairy show barn. Mike keeps busy with his wood shop at the farm as well as his lumber storage yard in Seven Mile, Ohio. Find out more about Mike on Facebook at Timber Frame Reclaim in Oxford.
Barn Detectives? Yes! Rudy Christian and Dan Troth will both be there for sure. Friday they will help the Barn Tour participants uncover unique timber frame building techniques in the barns we tour and Saturday they will reveal their findings to the conference goers. What separates the Ohio Barn Conference Barn Tour from others is that we have Rudy and Dan plus a host of other knowledgeable members available and willing to share their insights about the barns, the people who built them and the architectural history of our historic barns. “Get in on this!”
As part of the Ohio Barn Conference we will also hold our Annual Member Meeting, the Silent Auction and just good old fashioned visiting with friends and barn lovers alike.
The Saturday conference is open to the public and pre-registration is greatly appreciated. Please check out the 2016 Registration Information post above for more information. Also, scroll down to find the schedule in the Butler County article.