A lot of folks want to know about the Big Red Barn. We will share some tidbits over the next few posts.
First, episode one, when and why was it built?
As a typical Pennsylvania Dutch bank barn, we are to believe this barn was completed around 1906, five years after the main farm house was built. It may have taken a few years to build. On the bottom floor were enough head-catches so nine cows could be brought in and milked during each milking.
The barn has a huge (near 30’ wide) opening on the north side, and it initially had a similar opening on the south side too. The two openings were needed when the grain needed to be separated from the chaff using massive amounts of air to blow through the middle of the barn.
As steam power and other technologies were invented, the farm changed how it did things.
The south side opening was closed up. Over the years, the barn not only kept milk cows, but it was also used to store carrots and potatoes, to house sheep, as a veterinary hospital, and maybe even to hold church services on the top floor. All we have of that time are some old pew seats!
Little is known of the barn’s early days but there is a person’s name carved on a big angle brace near the great door, “I.J. Wright.” We think he was the builder/farmer of 1906. If only the walls could speak.
Next time we will share about the barn as a high-tech innovation of the early 1900s.
Then, we will tell you how we found it and what we are doing with the Big Red Barn.
There you go, more later friends!