My Old Barn

I never thought I’d have the joy of owning an old barn, much less several old barns.

When we moved here, the buildings were in various states of disrepair. I only saw their potential at that time, never thinking much about the actual process of them REACHING their potential.

Whew. It is a process, a definite process. We are tuckered-out with the process.

We started with the barn closest to the house. It’s my understanding that this is the oldest barn on the farm, being built originally in about 1900. This is the barn that we’ve been working on for awhile now.

I get it now. I get why everyone said, “just tear it down. It’s easier to tear it down and start all over. And cheaper too.”

Fact is that I’m not a tearer-downer. I’m a saver, a preserver. I have always been drawn to “old.”

Did you notice that photo? Can you tell what it is? That is the flooring of the upstairs part of the barn. Those two things, I think (!), are black walnuts. Black walnuts stuck tight in the crack of the floor. How did they get there? I bet years ago, a squirrel brought them up in the barn and spent the winter there. Either that, or maybe the old couple who lived here stored black walnuts in the upstairs of the barn. We do have some black walnut trees on the property, but they are on the other side of the house, in the yard.


The barn we have been working feverishly and tirelessly on is the barn that houses THE snakes.

This is the barn that it snowed IN last year.

This is the barn that my three horses hang out in, including my Soul Horse.

I love this barn.

It has been used as a dairy barn, and still has the “cattle head holders” hanging down.

It has been used as a tobacco barn, and still has the tobacco sticks piled up from where tobacco was speared and hung here. In fact, I remember smelling the faint scent of tobacco when I first walked into this barn.

Something I particularly like about these old barns are the “make-do” elements I see everywhere. This is the door latch that keeps a door shut.

We created a tack room (more like a tack closet) in one corner of the barn. My riding instructor gave me that sign~BARN SWEET BARN~isn’t it adorable? My husband built that door~isn’t it wonderful?

The tack room-closet is made out of the barn wood siding that we took down on this barn. You can see the new wood behind. Sure, the new wood is pretty and all that, but it is the OLD wood that I am drawn to.

Jessi is into everything…

Now let’s go upstairs.

Check this out.



I wish, wish, wish, wish I had a before picture.

You couldn’t walk through this upstairs. There were supports EVERYwhere for hanging tobacco. There was old tobacco and hay and feed sacks and goodness knows what else.

Here’s a pile that came out of that upstairs area.

And these I’m saving. For what? I don’t know yet….but aren’t they incredible?? I have no idea when they were cut down and placed up inside that barn to hang tobacco on.

And so the top is finally cleaned out!

We’re “in the short rows” now. Surely, we’re in the short rows now.

Last week “we” took a diversion from the OLD barn and built a NEW run-in shed. There is a pasture that the horses visit that has no shade, no building to protect them from the sun or snow.

So…..the guys who are helping us, built this shed in no time at all.

Can you see it on the other side of the pasture? After all the hay rolls?


We’re working on painting it now.

Here comes our favorite help:

After we get this painted, we’ll go back to the Old Barn project. I would have thought we’d have it completed by now, but it’s taking much longer than we thought. Of course. That’s the way renovation projects are. I’ve learned that by now. That’s exactly the way renovation projects are. (And I’m cool with that….)

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

  1. Brisja says:

    I can’t tell you how much old things thrill and excite me. We spent yesterday afternoon going through an antique shop that specializes in salvaged items from houses that are being torn down. I love the aged look and the history you know each piece contains! It is so good to see that someone else is fascinated by these things and wants to preserve them for use in current everyday life. Your old barn is a treasure!

  2. Susan says:

    I think it would be hard to be a Farm Girl if you were not a preserver, a saver. Your barn is incredible. I wish 30 years ago when the barn was still standing at our place we had redone it. I wasn’t into the Farm Girl then – Now? Oh yes, I love being a Farm Girl. I wish I had been then. I’d be so much further along instead of now worrying about running out of time.

  3. Adrienne says:

    Looks great so far and my fingers are crossed the weather holds for you until the hay is in, the barn is finished and the snakes are gone. Perhaps a prayer to St. Patrick to drive the snakes out? 😉

  4. sue says:

    Cattle head holders are called stanchions and your barn is beautiful you are so blessed
    Life is a Journey not a destination enjoy the journey

  5. diana henretty says:

    Ahhhh, loved your barn story and your pictures to brighten my morning here in the Ozarks!
    One of our most favorite things to do is to go for country drives and look at all the old barns in our area.
    The old Route 66 is especially great, you can see every kind of barn imaginable.
    Glad you didnt tear it down, glad you gave it a "heart flip" and a new life!
    Sometimes thats all it takes, is recapturing the old and shining it up a little.
    Blessings from the Ozarks on this hot summer morning! Diana

  6. catherine says:

    What color did u paint the shed? I love that red.

  7. Joan says:

    Oh yeah love the barn!!! and the run-into!! Preserving and saving is number one when being a farm family, never know when that ???? will come in handy. Oh yes there are those that say farms are junky but it doesn’t have to be, there is always a corner somewhere where all the ‘lovelies’ can be stored and I know you will use them some day. AHH what to do in the loft of the barn – always wanted to preserve a barn and live in it – yes that was a dream that did not come to fruition so I am so happy that you get to live your dream and that you share all the words and pic’s of it. Thanks much. God Bless

  8. Rene Foust says:

    Wow what a beautiful barn! I wouldn’t tear it down either you should see what mine looked before we started working on it!
    It is going to be so amazing when it is complete

  9. Looking good! I love to reuse old things too. Hubs is starting to move into the pole barn he built for a wood shop and I have to keep an eye on him. He likes to toss things that I think could be used for another purpose. But I also want to be able to park in the garage again, so things do have to be put back away. I could see the poles being used to make a tepee out of to grow beans on or gourds?

  10. Pam deMarrais says:

    Hey Rebekah! I love your local country store! I miss having one nearby in our neighborhood. In addition to the cool things, you have the best information resource….the owners do know it all! [We go to our local water dept for important not so well known information.]
    I haven’t counted all of the foggy mornings we had in August, so I also have no clue as to how many snows we’ll have, but I remember driving in the foggy mornings, so I will have my shovel ready to clear the mailbox. I try not to drive these Tennessee hills when the snow is on the roads, so I don’t try to shovel the driveway….I just wait until it melts! I guess I’d better get prepared too!

  11. Deanna Taylor says: the old barn pictures! Don’t you just feel like you are in a church when you stand in the hay mow with the sun shining in the windows? Doesn’t that barn just speak to your soul? As a life-long farm girl who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s with barns, thank you for preserving your beautiful old barn instead of tearing it down. I love barns so much that I have decorated with them including a stained glass cupboard door that is a replica of my grandpa’s prairie style barn. Bless you and keep going, girl!

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