2010 FOB Fall Picnic was Held at Slate Run

Friends of Ohio Barns had their picnic at Slate Run Living Historical Farm last fall. This 1880’s farmstead has been restored and is operated by Columbus Metro Parks as a working farm. Farmhands and homemakers are in period dress.

Every farm animal you can think of is found in the barn or around the farmyard. Percheron horses, dairy cows, pigs, sheep, turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese and a number of other kinds of fowl make up the extended family on the farm.

The big barn, a granary and the summer kitchen are some of the timber frame structures that stand out among the dozen or so farm buildings. The root cellar is stocked with canned vegetables and the smoke house has several select cuts hanging from the rafters. A blacksmith shop, a broom shop and several tool sheds are loaded with all of the implements of farming in that time period. The windmill towers over the haystack.

big-barn broom-shop cool-water farm-workers

The vegetable garden, grape arbor, orchard, corn field and sorghum patch are all showing signs of abundance as harvest time approaches. Onions are drying on racks by the summer kitchen. In spite of the world economy and the global financial crisis, Slate Run demonstrates that life on a productive subsistence farm can be separate and apart from the bigger mess

Slate Run is more than a working historical farm. It is 1700 acres of forests and fields and wetlands rolling over the glacial till plain. Extensive open water areas and the edge between forests and field provide an abundance of wildlife habitat. A spotted fawn grazes along the roadside. Green and great blue, and night herons can be seen stalking along the marshy borders. Footpaths roam over and through the wooded hills that are old glacial deposits.

Other timber frames at the park include the entry to the historic farm which was raised by a workshop of the Timber Framer’s Guild a decade ago and a shelter house recently built by Amish craftsmen. For directions and more information on the park, check out www.friendsofslaterunfarm.org

smoked summer-kitchen hay-stacksupper-time-in-the-barn

2009 Barn of the Year Award Winners

Awarded for Adaptive Re-Use:


Bill Fling was the recipient of the adaptive re-use award for his barn on the Fling family farm. Bill’s great grandfather, Albert J. Fling bought the farmstead around 1900 and began building the barn in 1902. The 2 story ground barn was utilized for storage and horses on this 200 acre working horse farm until 5 years ago when the thought came to Bill to remake the barn into a place for gatherings.

The Flings worked with local carpenters to repair and modernize the barn so it could become a facility that hosts weddings, reunions, and private parties. There is 3000 sq. ft. of floor space in the old milled timber structure with wet bars, a performance stage, dance hall, and outdoor deck for relaxing. Early Americana items decorate the barn, many, no doubt from the barns previous life.

The Flings have taken it a step further by providing for horse drawn carriage rides to enhance the bridal experience. They also provide in house catering, and hire a local band favorite to provide entertainment. It looks like a lively way to adapt and old barn into a new use! Members and guests will get a first-hand look at the Fling Farm this fall when Bill hosts our fall picnic, so come join us!

Awarded for Agricultural Use:


The award for agricultural use went to Dr. Ed Martinek. Mr. Martinek purchased the farm and German style bank barn in 2007, and set out to restore the 1851 structure to use in some sort of agri-business or agri-tourism. The original owner was Micheal Swigart who it is believed farmed their as early as 1812. The family cleared and broke the virgin soil, then lived and farmed there for several generations.

Ed Martinek saw the value in the old barn, and understood the significance the barn had with the community. In 2008 Ed hired the Architectural Reclamation Inc. company to begin the restoration process. They preserved the corn crib, granary, and stone foundation while adding some modern amenities such as upgraded electrical service, stairs and additional framing to withstand heavier loads. The barn features gunstock style posts and has two intact 60 ft. summer beams.

The crew of Architectural Reclamation nominated Mr. Martinek for the award in part because they were justifiably proud of their work, but also because they were happy that someone had the foresight to take a once prominent part of the community and restore it for another 150 years of service. It is currently serving as storage for hay and farm equipment.

2007 Barn of the Year Award Winners

Awarded for Adaptive Re-Use:


Ric Beck presents Melissa Camp the 2007 Barn of the Year Award for adaptive re-use of the barn at Shepherd’s Corner. It is owned by the Dominican Sisters, St. Mary of the Springs and is located at 987 N. Waggoner Rd., Blacklick, OH.

Awarded for Agricultural Use:


Ric Beck presents Lloy E. Funk with the 2007 Barn of the Year Award for Agricultural Use. His bank barn is located at 841 County Road 1600, Ashland, OH.