Category Archives: In the News

Timber frame structure to highlight Pasto Museum silent auction at Ag Progress Days

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A unique timber frame structure, built on site during Penn State’s Ag Progress Days, Aug. 12-14, will be included in the Pasto Agricultural Museum’s annual silent auction.

The large-shed-size building will be constructed using historic methods and traditional tools during the show by a team of craftsmen in a demonstration area near the museum at the top of Main Street on the Ag Progress Days site.

The team, led by Rudy Christian, of Burbank, Ohio, will include representatives from the Timber Framers Guild, Friends of Ohio Barns and Preservations Trades Network. In addition to showing timber frame work, the craftsmen will demonstrate the tools and techniques for creating hand-hewn timber, split shake shingles, split rail fencing and hand riven pegs.

“The craftsmen want to keep the traditional trades alive and useful for generations to come,” said Pasto Museum Curator Rita Graef. “They believe that the historic buildings are important parts of our cultural landscape. It will be fascinating watching them work.”

After the show, pegs will be pulled out and the building disassembled so it can be loaded into a small truck for the successful silent auction bidder to transport to his or her site for reassembly.

Auction proceeds this year will help the museum complete exhibits that feature its Dairy and Poultry collections. For more information about the silent auction, go to

The recently enlarged and renovated Pasto Agricultural Museum will provide visitors with a glimpse into farming’s past. With exhibits highlighting the history of agriculture and rural life, the 8,400-square-foot facility showcases an intriguing collection of artifacts.

Located on East 10th Street near the top of Main Street on the Ag Progress Days site, the Pasto Museum provides a comprehensive view of the era when energy for work was supplied by the power of humans and domesticated animals.

The approximately 1,300 items in the collection are concentrated in the time period between 1775 and 1940, although the assemblage of objects spans 6,000 years, from 4,000 B.C. to the 1940s.

“Visitors can see and touch tools used in early agriculture and rural life,” Graef said. “Our exhibits provide an understanding of developments in ag technology through the 1930s. Folks take away with them an appreciation of a time when energy for work was supplied by humans and animals.”

Sponsored by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Ag Progress Days is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College on Route 45. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Aug. 12; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Aug. 13; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 14. Admission and parking are free.

Friends of Ohio Barns is excited to be a part of Penn State’s Ag Progress Days and take part in constructing a timber frame structure for the event. We are working in conjunction with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) and the Timber Framers Guild (TFG).

Led by Rudy Christian, volunteers will use traditional tools to turn timber into frame. We will cut the joinery, hand rive the pegs and demonstrate hewing techniques for the 3 day event culminating in a raising.

We would love to have some experienced volunteers to join us in Happy Valley. If you have some tools, and time please consider joining us! Lodging and meals will be provided with grant money from NCPTT, so give either Ric Beck or Rudy a call and we will add you to the group.

Ric’s number is 614-738-4302, and Rudy’s is 330-624-7282.

For more information, visit the Ag Progress Days website at Twitter users can find and share information about the event by using the hashtag #agprogress, and Facebook users can find the event at

MCPTT LogoGarden-Shed-Model

Fourth Wall Films to Make Documentary “The Barn Raisers”

The following article was copied with permission from the Ohio Humanities Council.

Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films have been awarded a major grant from the Ohio Humanities Council (OHC) for their new documentary feature film The Barn Raisers. Friends of the Ohio Barns is serving as the fiscal sponsor for the project.

The Barn Raisers, a companion film to their Emmy® nominated historical documentary Country School: One Room One Nation, tells the story of barns in the Upper Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. The film will explore how barn styles, building methods and materials tell us about the people who built them, the life they lived and the role these “country cathedrals” played in the settling and building of the Nation.

Barns were constructed by farmer-craftsmen, professional builders who traveled from job to job and even architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. The Barn Raisers will paint a cinematic portrait of barns and builders, an important way of life that has been largely forgotten, and the film will remind us that these remnants from America’s rural past are still here to be interpreted and experienced.

“This is our first grant received by the Ohio Humanities Counci for a media project and we are very grateful for their support on this important story,” said producer Tammy Rundle. “We are looking forward to working with Friends of the Ohio Barns and to documenting many incredible structures in Ohio.”

Funding provided by the OHC grant will be used to film on-camera interviews with numerous barn scholars and footage of Ohio barns. Release of The Barn Raisers is slated for 2015, with a national DVD release and Midwestern PBS broadcasts to follow.

In addition to the Ohio Humanities Council, The Barn Raisers is funded in part by grants from Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Humanities Iowa, the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in The Barn Raisers do not necessarily represent those of the Ohio Humanities Council, HI, WHC, SSNHA or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Ohio Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit organization funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and private contributions. OHC aims “to increase Ohioans’ appreciation and understanding of the humanities” through the Council’s grantmaking capacity and through programs developed by the Council itself. Based in Columbus but operating statewide, the Council provides assistance to grant applicants, oversees Council-developed programs, and promotes the humanities in Ohio through collaborations with cultural and educational institutions. The Council is governed by a volunteer board which makes decisions on grant awards and sets policy.

Friends of Ohio Barns is a non-profit organization formed to support and promote through education the awareness and understanding of the significance of Ohio’s historic barns within their agricultural and architectural context, and their maintenance requirements. To encourage programs that provide resources for their stewardship and conservation as a lasting icon of our cultural heritage.

Fourth Wall Films is an award-winning independent film and video production company formerly located in Los Angeles, and now based in Moline, Illinois.

The Barn Raisers Cover Art