Tag Archives: Past Conferences

2017 Ohio Barn Conference XVIII in Holmes County

Workshop is Full!

Barn Tour is Full!

But you can still attend the Saturday portion of the Annual Ohio Barn Conference!

See below or email [email protected] for information.


Barn Detective Workshop Thursday, April 27th at the Stutzman Farmstead
Barn Tour Friday, April 28th, through Holmes County
Ohio Barn Conference Saturday, April 29th at The Barn at Flying Ridge Hunt Club

Important Information Regarding Registration:

This year we have another pre-conference Barn Detective Workshop (see below).  We can only take 30 people for this event.  Members can register securely online by clicking on the Event Calendar at the top of the menu column to the left on this page and you will then see both the Barn Detective workshop and the Ohio Barn Conference XVIII & Barn Tour registration boxes.  You have to register for the events separately due to the limit on the Workshop.  When registering for the Conference and Barn Tour select your type of registration on the first page knowing that you will be able to sign up your guest/spouse on the second page where it has a button to “add a guest” at the guest/spouse reduced rate. You can also click on the 2017   Registration Page  to print and send with your check payable to Friends of Ohio Barns at PO Box 203 Burbank, OH  44214.  If you are registering by mail for the workshop please call ahead to make sure there is still room.  If you have any questions or difficulties please call Sarah Woodall at 330-856-9053 or 330-550-6982.  All mail in registrations must be postmarked by April 19th, 2017.  Online registration ends April 23rd, 2017.

Barn Detective Workshop

Stutzman Farmstead

Thursday, April 27th, 2017 1 to 4 pm Limited to 30 people Pre-registration required!
To be held at the Stutzman Farm located at 4535 CR 114, Sugarcreek, OH 44681

The workshop will take place at Ivan Miller’s near Sugarcreek. The Miller farm was the original Stutzman Farmstead. There is an historic marker at the site. The workshop will run from 1pm to 4pm. It will be a two part event with the predominant part being a discussion on how to run a barn survey program. We plan on using the barn on site as a case study in how to perform a Barn Survey. The remaining time can be spent wandering around the beautiful farmstead and it is beautiful with a lot to see!

The cost is $20pp and will include a copy of the Barn Survey Handbook. Coffee, water and cookies will be available. There will be a tour of Miller’s forebay barn with some pretty interesting joinery they used to raise the frame. It is a pre-civil war frame in great shape and still being used as an agricultural building.

Friday Barn Tour and Saturday Conference

Mark your calendars and book your hotel room now, Friends of Ohio Barns is coming to Holmes County! The two and one-half day event runs from April 27th through the 29th in and around the beautiful Millersburg community.  We first want to thank Barb Lang for being the Local Heroine this year; she has really stepped up and brought a lot of enthusiasm to this year’s event, so thanks Barb!

Friday we load the busses in the host Hotel parking lot at the Comfort Inn, Millersburg. Registration starts at 8am at the hotel and the busses leave sharply at 9am. There will be coffee, water, donuts, and apples available before and during the tour. As always, we have a very interesting variety of barns and homesteads to see plus some firsts for the tour. We will see our first stone end barn! It is a remarkable structure complete with double outshots. It has some not so remarkable modifications, but representative of changes that allowed the barn to continue its useful life. Also, on the farmstead is a really cool clabbered farmhouse with brick infill throughout. The thought was the brick provided thermal mass and insulation from Ohio winters. There will also be stops at Barb and Loren Lang’s working dairy farm to see the transformation the farm has taken after a devastating fire in 2015. We will see their beautiful timber frame barn with its amazing chamfered interior posts. Also on the tour is an Amish working farm with a real nice hewn Sweitzer barn and the County Home barn of Holmes County (it is the official bicentennial barn in Holmes County). There will be two repurposed barns on the tour. One is the Shreiner Barn that was dismantled, repaired and moved to the new Holmes County Fairgrounds, and the wonderful and eclectic barn known as the “Legends of Music” Barn. This stop is not to be missed!

Saturday’s conference locale will be at The Flying Ridge Hunt Club on a scenic hilltop just outside Millersburg. Our preservation theme will begin with a keynote address from Mariangela Pfister, Technical Preservation Services head and deputy SHPO from The Ohio History Connection. Ms. Pfister will discuss the importance of physical conservation of buildings and how federal and state tax credit programs aid in that effort. This is always a timely subject, and Ms. Pfister is a dynamic speaker, sure to enlighten and educate.
During our 2016 fall driving barn tour we stopped at the Carriage Hill Metro Park for a tour of their amazing barns. One in particular caught the eye of our beloved VP Dan Troth. He and Nick Wiesenberg are going to discuss the Allan Barn. Dan will discuss its history, unique design, and preservation efforts, while Nick will talk about dendrochronology, its importance in dating structures, and share the results he found after his inspection of this interesting barn.  We will have a first breakout session in several years on Saturday. It might be viewed as a guys and girls session. For the girls (and maybe some guys), Barb Garbriel will be speaking about the “barn quilt movement” in Hancock County as well as other quilt trails in Ohio. Ladies, feel free to bring a long any quilts to show as part of the presentation. For the guys (and maybe some girls), John and Caleb Miller of JCM Timber Works will have a timber hewing session where they will discuss the tools used, layout and notching, as well as broad axing the timber, much like the framers of the day would have done. Chips will be flying in this presentation! Our final preservation presentation will be from Fred Krift owner of Nutwood Place, the historic farm complex on the northern edge of Urbana, Ohio. Those of you who attended the tour last fall got a glimpse of the magnificent brick and timber round barn and farm house. Mr. Krift will discuss a bit of the history of William Wards creation, his love and reverence for Nutwood, as well as the challenges he faces to preserve the incredible round barn. We, of course, won’t be complete without the 2017 version of our favorites, Rudy and Dan as “The Barn Detectives”. They are hoping for some live tweet commentary during their performance… We will also have our Barn of the Year awards during the lunch hour, the annual member meeting, our fabulous silent auction, as well as some vendors and exhibits. All in all, another exciting, educating, and very enjoyable way to spend your day. Come out and see old friends; make some new ones; and help us celebrate Ohio’s icons of Agriculture, Our Ohio Barns!

-Ric Beck

2017 Conference Schedule

2016 Registration Information – Ohio Barn Conference

Register Securely Online for the Ohio Barn Conference XVII and Barn Tour plus Junior Barn Detective 2016 Pre-Conference Workshop

Important Information Regarding Registration.

This year we have another pre-conference JBD Workshop (see below).  We can only take 40 people for this event.  Members can register online by clicking on the Event Calendar at the top of the menu column to the left on this page and you will then see both the JBD workshop and the Ohio Barn Conference XVII & Barn Tour registration boxes.  You have to register for the events separately due to the limit on the Workshop.  When registering online for the Conference and Barn Tour select your type of registration on the first page knowing that you will be able to sign up your guest/spouse on the second page where it has a button to “add a guest” at the guest/spouse reduced rate. Or, if you prefer to register the old fashioned way then click on this link,  Registration Page,  to download (might take a little time) and print registration form, fill out and send with your check, payable to Friends of Ohio Barns, at PO Box 203 Burbank, OH  44214.  If you are registering by mail for the workshop please call ahead to make sure there is still room.  If you have any questions or difficulties please call Sarah Woodall at 330-856-9053 or 330-550-6982.

Please note that there are rooms at the Hueston Woods Lodge at a reduced rate under the “Friends of Ohio Barns” block.  Cutoff deadline is March 31st, 2016.  Call Hueston Woods directly at 513-664-3550 to make your own overnight room reservation!

See new posts below!

JBD Workshop, Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Cherryl and Toby Forte have graciously agreed to host an afternoon workshop at their farm outside of Oxford. The Forte’s will showcase their raised barn and farmhouse, discussing the details of renovations in the barn and house.  Their farm is located at 3884 Wallace Rd.  The event runs from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, rain or shine.  Pre-registration is required as we only have room for 40 folks.  Cost is $10 per person.  Register online by following the directions in the 2016 Registration Information post above.

For more information on the Sycamore Farms Country Inn please visit their website at http://www.sycamorefarmscountryinn.com .   Cherryl has rooms available the weekend of the conference so call them if you are looking for a relaxing place to stay!

The barn was built around 1853. The original frame was all sash sawn timber from a mill right on the property! It has been carefully repaired using more modern material to make the barn useful for the Forte’s farming endeavors, while keeping costs under control.

The beautiful dark purple painted barn is a 3-bay cantilevered barn with a stone foundation.

The farm house was built around 1830 and very handsome. It also took many hours of loving restoration to repurpose the home into a bed and breakfast! Opening this spring, the Forte’s will happily invite quests to enjoy the idyllic setting that is the Forte farm.  As an update, Cherryl was happy to announce that they have just received the Century Farm Classification for their farm!

Cherryl and Toby will provide us with before and after photos of the renovations, and discuss the challenges and rewards of fixing the barn and farmhouse. Harold Herran, the barn repair contractor, will also be on hand to answer questions about barn repairs.

Please join us for lively conversations, and tours of the barn and farmhouse. Plenty of parking is available, there will also be refreshments!  This is an indoor/outdoor event so please dress accordingly.

Ohio Barn Conference Update

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.