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Standing Strong: Our Barn Turns 100

| 3/29/2019 10:44:00 AM

Our barn this winter

Our farm’s Gambrel barn in this morning’s snowstorm.  Photo by Kara Berlage 

The blizzard winds whip outside, rumbling as tiny snow particles whirl about and bite at my face.  I’m all bundled up, dragging my black sled filled with bags of feed and my trusty egg bucket off to the coops.  I pause a moment to look up from my deep snow trudging to assess the size of upcoming drifts.  The old barn catches my eye, every grain of weathered wood on its siding packed with snowflakes like a rushed frosting job on a chocolate cake.  It’s a monument of beauty amongst the furious winds and demands of continued shoveling.

It’s a special year for our barn because it turns 100 years old.  The barn might have been even older, except for playing out of family drama with the barn’s makers.  E. P. Fullington and his son Lloyd (the original homesteading family) got into a heated argument while constructing the New England-style Gambrel barn and Lloyd stormed off to town.  The family didn’t hear from him for three years because he had enlisted in WW1.  Upon his return, father and son finished the barn in 1919.

Made from hand-hewn tamarack timbers harvested from the farm’s swampland that have cured as hard as iron and clad in white pine boards that were never painted, the barn became a distinctive landmark within our own family when Grandma and Grandpa bought the homestead from the Fullingtons in Easter of 1968.  I remember sneaking in through the weathered door to play in the loose hay strewn about in piles on the floor, laying down to look up into the rafters and timbering above.  Sparrows and barn swallows flitted from beam to beam, chirping merrily.  It seemed like such a peaceful place.

Our barn in 1970s

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