A Barn Raising: “Brush Fires”

| 6/21/2012 1:18:40 PM

There are few images that create a more indelible impression of American frontier life and community spirit than that of a barn raising. The barn was often the first structure on the land, as it held both hay and housed livestock , which would be the family's livelihood. In those times, it took a community to build a barn. They had to bring down the trees themselves, and rough cut the lumber. It would take many skills to build – someone to make the nails, carpenters, loggers ... all set to the task of bringing up the barn.   

I knew about a “barn raising”, because I had read about them. These were the sort of things that happened on the edge of civilization, in remote frontier towns. Until we built a barn of our own and experienced the kindness of neighbors firsthand, I would have thought the notion of a barn raising to be a quaint relic of the past.

As our first foray into land ownership, we had chosen Perry County, in southern Indiana.

We had been looking at acreage for quite sometime, but had been dissatisfied with our searches locally. In truth, we didn't even have a fully-formed notion of what we wanted out of our ideal property, only that we wanted to live out in the country and away from the hurried urgency of city life. Eventually, we settled on a piece of land 3 hours away from where we currently lived.

Perry County boasted 60,000 acres of the Hoosier National Forest and touched the Ohio River at it's border. Traveling along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, you would catch commanding views - rolling hills stretching out in either direction.

Dan Adams Barn Raising 1 

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