Monday, January 14, 2013

this old barn...

Erected more than a century ago...
 'the barn' was the prominent feature on the farm when my family purchased it in the fifties.

It was an old stanchion barn...
red with white trim at the time.

The old barn has seen many changes over the years.
In the got a new metal roof.
Then it was clad with metal siding..
turquoise in less.
The stanchions were replaced with comfort stalls and a milking parlour.
A few children fell from the hayloft over the years...
and lived to tell of it!

Ten years ago...
'this old barn' became the heifer barn...
after new dairy barns were built.
But new barns don't have hay lofts!

And hay lofts are a lot of fun!
Ask my grands.
The hayloft became one giant playroom...
and 'critters' and Barbies alike could be found lounging here these past few years.

Forts were erected here and there.

This is where they spent many an hour taming the wild barn cats.
Kids are good at that!

The old barn got a new look again some 10 years ago.
It was made into a drive-through barn...
in order to feed the animals more efficiently.

That required removing timbers and joists down the center...
the entire length of the barn.
These timbers were beautiful British Columbia fir...
one hundred years old.
What would become of all that old wood?
As it turned out...
we were in the process of building a new house...
and decided to use the re-claimed wood for the floors of the main living area.
We loaded it all up...
where it was cut into wide planks of varying widths...
 and sanded to bring out the rich and distinct character and patina of the wood. 

I was a little nervous when I first saw the floor boards with all their holes.
But after eight years of walking on our old barn floors...
we are still liking them!

The fireplace mantle was made from one of the timbers as well.

And so a piece of history lives on in our new farmhouse.

I'm sure the old barn has many stories to share from the 'good old days'...
but there is one story that is quite new.
And unique!

Several months ago, Mike (who works full-time on the farm)...
asked if it would be OK if he had some photos taken at the farm on his wedding day.
Why not?

We weren't around during the photo shoot...
and had no idea what kind of photos one takes in a barn.
Now we know!

At Christmas...
we were gifted with a lovely album of wedding photos...
put together by Corina.

My favorites are those taken in the hayloft of the old barn!

(My apologies to them for the poor quality reproductions.
Since my scanner seemingly does not work with my new Windows 8 operating system...
I resorted to taking pictures of pictures.)

The old barn still stands strong.
It has changed its colours once again.
I now live across the fields from the farmyard...
and don't visit the old barn too often these days.

My siblings who once worked and played in that barn...
all got a piece of it as a keepsake as well.

Most got a board with coat hooks.
One has a barnwood floor rumpus room.

If the barn owls decide to use the nest up in the rafters this spring...
I'll likely go up and take a look.
Until then...
that's it for tales from 'this old barn.!


  1. My goodness Judy I must be very sentimental! This story has tears in my eyes! I adore your floor and mantel. I love your stone fireplace. What an inviting room!

    The wedding photos are so beautiful. If I were a wedding planner, I would focus on rustic weddings....they are so pretty....and so real!

    I love the piece each of your siblings received....we didn't have a barn, we had a boardwalk....and I know the connections we make to our childhood play spots.

    What a lovely post :)

  2. Oh Judy - I can so relate to this story!!! Your floors and fireplace mantle are absolutely stunning! These old barns are amazing structures and so, so many are coming down around us here in SW Ontario. It's so great that you've creatively used some of that beautiful wood - WOW!

  3. That is so wonderful Judy. How nice that you have some of the 100 year old barn boards for flooring in your home. I love your mantel too and the wall shelf is beautiful. The wedding photos are terrific. It's nice that the old board and beams have been preserved. I remember as a 12 year old playing in an old barn with friends. The mow was empty and we were playing follow the leader. We jumped from one level in the mow to another and I was the last one to jump. Well, I jumped and the floor broke open and I landed on my bottom in the cow barn below!! Thankfully I wasn't hurt badly although I believe a lot of my back and hip problems today may be the result of that fall! Hugs, Pamela

  4. So many memories in that old building, and memories still being made. The wedding photos were lovely - what a beautiful couple.
    The floors in your house gleam in a way that has to come from the wood - no polish or finish could make them that warm. It has to be history!

  5. What a great post all around. I so enjoyed seeing that reclaimed wood for your floors and mantel. It's truly beautiful. Such a rich history. That the grands find the lofts a wonderful place to play doesn't surprise me at all. I used to love being in the lofts playing with the barn cats myself. (We even had a rope to swing across from one loft to the other. It would paralyze me to know that my grands were doing such a thing and I don't think my parents would have liked to know that either.)

    The wedding photos are unique and lovely. I see that this young couple march to the beat of their own drums with the bride's beautiful gown color and photos in the barn. Many blessings to them!

  6. The stories that barn could tell! Someone could write a children's book about it.... and even though I knew that your flooring came from that barn, I loved reading how this came about.

  7. Oh the tales your barn holds. I love that the barn still stands and is still useful in this day of 'tear it down, build new.' Your floors are lovely, and I'll bet that quality of wood would be hard to come by these days.

  8. That is so fabulous that you could use the wood for your floors. Love your floors! All the stories and memories from the old barn must be fun to remember. Blessings...

  9. Such vibrant memories and brilliant keepsakes.
    Your living room is so inviting!

  10. Just beautiful, both the story and the barn and of course your home. Wonderful.

  11. The floors are fabulous, don't ever change them. The bride'd dress is stunning, she must have a wonderful sense of fashion. Angharad

  12. What an interesting post! In fact, on Sunday afternoon we were in a very old farmhouse that has been gutted and is going to be remodeled. The attic floorboards were very wide old boards, and I remarked about the value of the old boards today. Your floors are beautiful! What a great idea that you saved them for your floors. The wedding pictures are so much fun to look at. Thank you for sharing them.

  13. I believe I have a connection to that old barn too. I recall a sleepover at your place that took us to the loft for the night. In the morning we jumped on the school bus and wondered why people were telling us we smelt bad. Darlene

    1. You are so right, Darlene! I had finished the post, when I thought of our hayloft sleepover (in January, no less!)...and wondered if I should add that tale. Did we get any sleep that night? I'm sure the school bus never smelled quite like that...before or after. Like I said...the barn has many a story to tell.

  14. This was a great post Judy...I think my mind sprung back to the memories from long ago...I'm sure we had some fun times up there. And of course, the story is the best of how your home carries on the old barn traditions which will be talked about by many for years to come.

  15. I just love old barn timbers even when they didn't belong to me. Your floors are so gorgeous and the wedding photos are so great. May the stories from future generations continue.

  16. I love this post Judy! I'm so glad I had a few minutes to scroll back to see it. I love wood floors and had to find a house that had them when we were looking here. your barn wood is so extra special.

    The wedding photos are wonderful! What a unique place to have photos made, and the bride's dress is also so beautifully unique.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson