by Tammy Taylor
I love our old barn, it’s the main reason we decided this was the place my husband & I wanted to settle in and start our new life. Many people have asked about the beautiful old barn so c’mon in – join me for a tour!
This is what our poor barn looked like when we first purchased the property in 2000. It had been neglected for decades and we knew we had to do something to save it.
Although the outside was crumbling, thankfully the inside was solid. We hired a contractor to come strip the exterior boards, repair parts of the skeleton and replace the exterior with similarly-styled lumber. To keep the patina I love we allowed the boards to age for 1 year before we sealed them to protect them from the elements.
The front of our barn is the main entrance. It’s roughly divided into 3 parts – the open manger / roost area on the right, the main runway in the middle with separate rooms and pens on each side and a long storage area to the far left that extends the entire length of the barn. The hayloft doors at the top allow for dropping hay from the 2nd story hay storage area.
This is the manger area that shows on the right side of the barn. We exposed the posts by removing the old rusted tin and rotting boards that were nailed to the sides – I like it much better this way and the cows use it as a loafing area.
This must have been a feed area in the manger. A small piece of metal was framed in right next to the door leading into the barn
There are 3 of these holes cut roughly from the 2nd floor hay storage area into the manger area. I’m guessing they were used to drop hay for feeding the animals in the manger.
The chicken roost area is closed in at the back end of the manger side. This little door has old steps that lead up to it.
There’s also a full-sized entry door on the side of the coop that allows entrance to the area for collecting eggs. We have our plate too full raising cattle to be able to raise chickens just yet but I’m hoping to use this coop some day. (UPDATE – we subsequently updated the interior of this coop to accommodate our free-range hens, you can read about it here –> http://taylormadehomestead.com/refurbishing-an-1880s-barn-coop/ )
Now onto the middle section of the barn. The picture below is looking down the main middle run of the barn. I Love the detailing! This room with semi-open walls on one side is interesting. The hayloft ladder is just to the right.
This view is looking up the ladder to the hayloft area. You can see part of the massive roof structure from this angle.
In the middle of this runway ceiling is a huge hinged door directly on the hayloft floor. I’m assuming this is to bring the hay bales up to the hayloft from the wagons. It’s also a great shot of the roof trusses. I love the barn swallow nests too.
I just love these old chains that still hang inside. I’m not sure how long they’ve hung here but they had been here quite a long time when we found them here 13 years ago & left them as we found them – I think it adds an old-time charm.
Looking to the right side of this main runway we see what must have been an animal pen that extended about half the length of this space with two small pens enclosed on each end. I love all these old Bois D’Arc posts and have no doubt they came from this property so many years ago.
Here’s a view of the large side pen. There were some hand-made mangers in this pen originally but sadly they were way too far gone to save so we removed them.
This is one of the two small pens on either side of the larger animal pen. There are a total of three of these old handmade doors that were used in this area. They’re very heavy and I love them!
When we made repairs to the barn, we left the inside as untouched as we could. I love this old heavy hand-made door and the baling-wire-latch system they used.
How do you like the place so far? Join me tomorrow to finish touring our old barn here!
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