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Early Spring in the Barn

| 4/1/2019 9:48:00 AM

Kara with her first sheep

Kara with her first two sheep, Sweet and Heart.  Photo by Ann Berlage 

As we continue to celebrate our barn turning 100 this year, it’s interesting to recount how the structure has been utilized over the years, including today. 

With the Fullingtons (who were the original homesteaders of the farm, starting in 1915), the Gambrel center sported a large open door on the barnyard side.  A track still runs in the peak of the roof, which held the massive hay hooks that ran along it, dropping down outside to grab loads of harvested loose hay to drag back inside and store for the winter.  This meant that the main part of the barn served as, essentially, a covered haystack with a grain bin in the front part of the ground level.

The attached shed wings on either side of the barn had long, hinged doors that conveniently swung upward so the farmer could stand in the center part of the barn and fork hay to the livestock in either wing.  Draft horses (an important part of the stump-removal team) were housed in the southern wing, while the northern side was home to Jersey dairy cows.  The cow wing included wooden stanchions scrawled with the names of the animals that sheltered there.

But the cows and horses were long gone when Grandma and Grandpa purchased the farm in 1968.  The fields were then hayed by Jess Ross, who stored some of the crop in the barn.  Haying technology was changing, and square bales, which were fed into the mow with an elevator, replaced the need for the hay hooks.  We still use that rickety elevator, patched up over the years for the once-or-twice-a-season need to reach the mow with second-crop square bales.

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