Coverage from Callaway - Old Barns See A Second Life
A little hard work can make an old barn beautiful again with the help of Carolyn Linton who has been drawn to barns since childhood.
"I always thought they were just really special structures, as they were a major part of the home where I grew up on a farm," Linton said.
She surrounds herself with the heritage of barns. An old barn's frame supports her home, and she keeps horses in a reconstructed barn.
Her newest barn isn't new at all.
"The barn that we are sitting in right now was once on a farm in Chilicothe, Missouri and it was on the farm where I grew up," Linton explained.
The barn will become Linton's workshop and showroom. In addition to barn painting she makes furniture out of old barns too.
"One of the first things I made was a piece that looked old," Linton said. "When I first told my father that I wanted some wood from one of his old barns he just couldn't understand that, why would I want wood like that. But after I finished it he was very proud of it."
Linton started making furniture just after college, and seven years ago when enough people knew her work, she started Green Meadow Barn Company.
As with many businesses Linton got off to a rocky start.
"Hi, I'd like to buy some furniture. Do you have any for sale? She said, well, it's funny you call, I do have some for sale. In fact this may be my going out of business sale," friend Kit Salter said.
Salter met with Linton that day and spent double his budget.
"She has said a few times that day I was on the cusp of thinking this isn't working," Salter said.
Now Salter surrounds himself with the bones of old barns.
"I feel like I'm playing a role in the nineteenth century, the twentieth century and I hope the twenty first century of Columbia, Mid-Missouri, Boone County and Callaway County, by having what I call Lintonia," Salter said.
And that's the idea behind Linton's work.
"To me it just says, I've done a good job for a hundred years, and I'm here to stay if you'd like to have me," Linton said
Each piece of furniture has a pewte medallion with a sketch of the barn, as well as a hand-written history of the wood on it.