by Tammy Taylor
Recently I was taking advantage of the warmer weather and walked around the barn pasture enjoying the view. I’ve written before about discovering some hints of the Home Life from the family that lived here before their home burned in the late 1950’s. But today I’m enjoying the actual farming side of their history. Come stroll with me and see what made me smile:
I absolutely love our 1880’s barn and I love the detailing they used in barn construction back then. I try to imagine the purpose for each of the rooms and cubbies that were built into the barn. Whatever their reason, I simply love the look of the construction, the old weathered wood, the whispers of the past.
On the east side of the barn is an area that used to hold a manger and small pens. We pulled the rusting tin and rotting wood to expose this area and now utilize it for a loafing shed for the cows. We also tore down the crumbling pen around this area and set the old Bois d’Arc posts aside at the edge of this loafing area. Our hope is to reuse these posts again in our own fence-building endeavors. The old twisted posts whisper the past much like the barn itself does. The fall leaves have tucked themselves into the posts in their flutter earthward.
Bois d’Arc wood is beautiful when it ages. The wood is hard as iron and makes excellent posts due to it’s rot-resistant nature. Its twists and turns are beautiful to the eye as well. This twisted branch arcs gracefully close to the ground. Love it! We’re blessed to have many very old Bois d’Arc trees here on the ranch.
It’s also interesting to stroll around a property that has been in production for so long and try to figure out what the operation might have looked like so many years ago. Behind the area that is now our barn pond is a very old approximately 1930’s or 1940’s car body that had been hollowed out to use as a shelter for animals – perhaps goats? We’ve left it where it is. Since it’s tucked behind the pond it’s not an eye-sore and I love having a little piece of the old operation still evident along with the new.
This pen was apparently secured with a latch as evidenced by this old closure part found nearby on an old weathered board. I wish I could have a glimpse into the past of this old working property, how fascinating!
At one time our entire property was probably fenced with this 1882 Elwood barbed wire. Surprisingly enough we still see some of this on our interior cross fences. It’s true what they say: They just don’t make it like they used to!
I love the old barn wood and the old barbed wire so much that I asked my husband to build a large mirror frame using the aged barn wood and I embellished it with this Elwood barbed wire. It’s absolutely beautiful, but that’s a tale for another time…
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