Barns More than Just Wood and Nails
Stephanie diffin gives us a look at these historic monuments and why they could disappear altogether. Lewis Baumgartner remembers his past in a poem he wrote.
"Oh sometimes my mind will wander back and recall those days now gone. And those peaceful winter evenings with the lights on in the barn," said Lewis Baumgartner, farmer.
But now those lights are slowly fading away.
"You drive through the country now in the evening ... You don't see anything going on. The barns are dark, the lots are empty," Baumgartner said.
As the self-proclaimed world's worst farmer he has a plaque in his name, but he still has it proudly displayed where everyone can see.
"It's been a pretty good coversation piece," Baumgartner said.
On a barn he doesn't necessarily need anymore, but refuses to see disappear.
"I don't want to let it fall down because it's just such a nice barn," he said.
A nice barn full of memories and history.
"Barns were some of the first buildings that people built when they established towns and farms everywhere," said Howard Marshall, barn expert. "We have barns around Columbia that look like barns 400 years ago in Germany, and Scotland, and England and Ireland."
And they don't just look the same.
"They might measure within inches," Marshall explained.
And that is strictly a phenomena of tradition.
"Only recently have people built barns from plans," Marshall said. "If the function goes away, we'll stop doing that thing,
But the old traditional barns are disappearing. And the function is going away. Along with the space.
"Life goes on, you know, and we progress, but it's kind of sad to me to see it all change," Baumgartner said. "We don't really miss them until they're gone."
But this farmer is making sure he doesn't have to miss his, "It's just a reminder of those days, those bygone days when a lot of the farm activity did revolve around the barn," Baumgartner said.
And he does remember those days.
"Oh my favorite memories take me back, to the way we used to farm. And to those peaceful winter evenings with the lights on in the barn."
People do have to pay taxes on barns, even if they're not using them. Marshall says this is also a big reason why the future doesn't look good for these buildings.
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