Barn Again in Butler County

OSU Extension’s Barn Again program provides educational opportunities for people to learn more about their historic barns and other agricultural structures and about how they can be reused and rehabilitated for today’s needs on the farm and beyond. OSU Extension is proud to partner with Friends of Ohio Barns and support the annual Ohio Barn conference, an event that is hosted in a different part of the state each year.

This year, the Seventeenth Annual Ohio Barn Conference will be held in Butler County in southwest Ohio on Thursday April 21 through Saturday, April 23 at the Hueston Woods Lodge and Conference Center. It will feature demonstrations, speakers, displays, barn repair tips, and more. Friday’s barn tour by motor coach offers participants the opportunity to explore a wide variety of barns and historic buildings in beautiful Butler County. You can sign up for individual days or the whole three-day event.

Thursday is the Junior Barn Detectives (JBD) Workshop. This outreach activity trains up to 40 attendees on how to analyze a barn and provide assistance to local barn owners. At the end of the training, you will be able to explain, to both youth and adult audiences, the historic value of old barns, basic barn construction, maintenance techniques, and availability of various local, state and national resources. The primary objective is to have in place a state-wide cadre of trained volunteers who are willing to talk to and visit with local barn owners/ stewards who have indicated a desire to have someone look at their barn and help them analyze its general condition.

Friday is the barn tour. The motor coach starts at Hueston Woods Lodge and travels to six stops including a catered lunch stop. Our first stop is a Mail Pouch timber frame barn, owned by Mindy and John Brosier, that Dave Gaker (BS in Ag Engineering, OSU) converted into a house. Stop 2 is an 1825 all hand-hewn ground barn using timber from the property. The barn at stop 3 belongs to Ed and Kathy Creighton. Ed will be speaking at the conference on Saturday about the history of this farm that includes other barns, an 1800 corn crib, and even Indian mounds and Morgan horses on this property. The lunch stop is at the Barn-n-Bunk Farm Market in Trenton. There will be time to explore this venue complete with barns, tools, antique tractors and shops, plus ice cream. Stop 5 is an 1815 Sweitzer barn on an old farmstead which also has a double crib log corn crib as well as a castle-like concrete silo with a cistern on the top. Stop 6 is a 38 by 60 barn with massive 12 by 12 posts with a swing type beam 12 by 12 half lapped with another 12 by 12 beam in the drive bay.

On Saturday, we return to Hueston Woods Lodge for a day of presentations and other barn-related activities. Steve Gordon, the keynote speaker, is the current Museum Administrator for the McGuffey Museum located on the Miami University campus in Oxford, Ohio. 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.

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. Ed Creighton will speak about his farm (that those of us on the tour bus will have visited on Friday), which is one of the most intact, original farms in Butler County. It was built in 1802 by Revolutionary War General Andrew Lewis. Other Saturday activities will include presentations about log crib barns, Ohio’s canal system, post bottom repairs (lecture and hands-on demonstration), barn detectives, annual member meeting, barn of the year awards, and silent auction.

Please check friendsofohiobarns.org for registration information or call 330-856-9053 / 330-550-6982.

Annual Ohio Barn of the Year Awards

Friends of Ohio Barns is calling for nominations for Ohio Barn of the Year, a program designed to encourage awareness and community pride in our historic Ohio barns. Barns will judged in three categories: Agricultural Use, Adaptive Re-use (non-agricultural), and Stewardship. Barn owners, barn enthusiasts and local historic organizations are encouraged to nominate their favorite barn. Nominations should include: photos, current owner’s name, location of barn, current use, history of the barn, age and builder if known, and repairs and information on individuals performing repairs where relevant. News releases and photos of winning nominations will be made available to the news media with a feature story. Nomination forms can be found at friendsofohiobarns.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/nomination_form.pdf. Deadline for nominations is March 31, 2016. Send nominations to: Dan Troth, Friends of Ohio Barns, 7591 Perry Rd., Delaware OH 43015, or email: dtroth@columbus.rr.com. Awards will be presented at the annual Ohio Barn Conference on Saturday, April 23.

I hope to see you at the barn workshop in April. Good luck with your barn!

 

Ann D. Christy, Professor, can be reached at 614-292-3171, or christy.14@osu.edu. Her barn website is at fabe.osu.edu/extension-outreach/barnagain. This column is provided by the OSU Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, OSU Extension, Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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