Old Barns See Life
Artist Carolyn Linton has been drawn to barns since she was a child.
"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," explained Linton.
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.
Linton explained, "The barn that we are sitting in right now was once on a farm in Chillicothe, Missouri and it was on the farm where I grew up."
The barn will become Linton's workshop and showroom. She also makes furniture out of old barns.
"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 Co. However, Linton had a rocky start.
Her friend, Kit Salter, said, "'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.'"
Salter met with Linton after that call and spent double his budget to help her stay in business.
"She has said a few times that day, 'I was on the cusp of thinking this isn't working,'" Salter added.
Now Salter surrounds himself with the bones of old barns.
"I feel like I'm playing a role in the 19th century, the 20th century, and I hope the 21st century of Columbia, mid-Missouri, Boone County and Callaway County, by having what I call Lintonia," Salter said.
Each piece of furniture has a pewter medallion with a sketch of a particular barn, as well as a hand-written history of the wood.