Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Barn Story

Hi, my name is Lisa and I am a Barn Chick with a story to tell.

In the late 1920's my Great Grandparents purchased 40 acres in LaCenter, WA as a step toward beginning their own dairy. Money was tight and creativity was needed to find the wood to build the necessary buildings for the dairy. Before it was popular, my Grandparents were into recycling and repurposing (must be in my blood!).

My Grandpa and my Great Grandpa went to the big city of Portland, OR and tore down an empty flour mill (or feed store, we're not sure which), and began the tedious process of hauling the wood back home to build what we call today, our 'loafing shed.'














You can see a bit of the words left on the boards, I've tried to make the words out since I was a little kid, to no avail.
They made the best with what they had, and ended up creating their own thick beams to hold up the massive structure out of several 1x6's put together.


















As time passes, and the ground shifts, so do the 1x6's on their concrete blocks....














No worries though, our barn is perfectly safe..we've had to replace some of the beams that were really off their rockers blocks :-).
The roof is made of aluminum sheets that were hard to lay down because they were so wide. The rose bush in this picture is one that my Grandma planted a loooonnnng time ago.














 A loft was included in the barn so that they could store hay for the cows and toss it through the rafters  down to where the animals were 'loafing'. A belt was hooked up to this door to haul the hay up.














Although today, it's more of a photo op for us!


















This is looking from the bottom of the barn, up through the rafters to the loft.














And the inside of our barn, the back wall....














...and our hay to feed these precious things...














...and to provide comfy bedding for these sweet things...














But I digress, now where was I? Ahhh yes, the loafing shed was a true God send for my Great Grandparents. Being a Grade A Dairy meant the bar was held high, and in order to not contaminate milk, the cows had to be kept mud free...the loafing shed provided them a place to go where they were on higher ground and protected from the elements. It was all perfectly planned and the dairy was well on it's way. However, sometimes our plans and life don't always agree.

During the building of the loafing shed, my Great Grandpa fell against one of those rafters I showed you. Not one to run to the doctor, he brushed it off until the pain became so severe he had to go to the doctor. The fall had created a hernia in his intestine and by the time he was admitted to the hospital, his intestine had gangrene. 21 days later, my Great Grandpa died in his hospital bed.

A new barn...
...a functioning Grade A Dairy...
...and my Grandpa, with gypsy blood
found himself thrust into the life of a dairy man and a life that required him to cultivate the roots planted by his own father.














I always knew that my Great Grandpa died building this beautiful barn that my husband and I now own. Knowing the full story makes this barn and this land even more special to me. I too have roots here. Roots, that a man I never got the chance to meet, planted for his family and I now have the awesome privilege to nurture and pass on to my own children.















This is my barn and this is my story.

Read about some more G.R.E.A.T. Barn Stories with the Barn Chick Blog Party at Brayton Homestead Interiors! Thanks for visiting my barn...
Lisa ;-)

21 comments:

Florence said...

Wow what a great story. Thanks for sharing Lisa. Hugs Florence

Gourmet to Gerber said...

Lisa...I LOVED reading all about your barn. That's such a neat family story. Thanks for sharing. I'd love to come see it some day. Ann

Julie Marie said...

Oh Lisa, what a beautiful touching story and photos... how proud your granddaddy and great~granddaddy must be looking down at you and knowing their precious barn is so loved and taken care of... the memories it must hold for you... I love to hear stories like this, and am so happy it is still in your family... the rose bush your grandma planted is priceless... I love your story and photos so very much, thanks for sharing... xoxo Julie Marie

Kelly said...

What a wonderful post~ It's nice that you the land and buildings were kepy in the fmaily. I wish life would return to those kind of days-family first, simple, and just plain lovable!

Julie Marie said...

Hi there, and thanks for visiting my Barn Chicks post today! I visited yours early and left a comment, but don't see it... I love your barn and all of the special memories behind it... I am so happy it is still in your family! And the rosebush your grandma planted is beyond priceless! Love to you... xoxo Julie Marie

Debbie~ said...

Lisa, your story is beautiful and sad at the same time. What a beautiful barn and what sweet special memories it shares with you and your family. You're so lucky to have this beautiful structure remain in your family! Thank you so much for sharing your barn story with us! I too am a Washitonian & another 'Barn Chick' Debbie @ Cottage Hann~Me~Downs

Andy's Attic said...

Lisa, I knew the barn was from your past but this story is just wonderful. There is nothing like being able to pass on the memories of your history to your kids and have them really see it and live it!!
Annette

janet said...

Lisa,
Such a wonderful and touching story. Your barn has beauty in the construction and in it's great story. Thanks for sharing with us.

Janet xox

seabold vintage market said...

such a beautiful story . . . I am sure your Great Grandfather would be very proud!! I am soooo glad you shared it with us!!. . . :) liz

Brayton Homestead Interiors said...

loveyl images with a great family story. Thanks.
so glad you are one of the Barn Chicks- thanks for linking to my blog!

Karen

Olive Cooper said...

What a story of a family's perserverence. Thanks for sharing it with us. hugs♥olive

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

What a beautiful and touching story, and beautiful Barn, it's been kept well! It's so wonderful that you have kept the Barn in your family!!! Thanks for sharing. Blessings~~~ Daphne

Anne - Fiona and Twig said...

What a gorgeous barn and what a GREAT story!

I'm so glad you popped over to say hello, I think you and your blog are just terrific. :-)

Have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs,
Anne

Cathy~Mille Fleur said...

Wow! What a wonderful post! I love all of the history! Your pics are beautiful!

Enjoy!
Cathy

dogsmom said...

Sentimental, sad but endearing. I know about stubborn men in the family who won't go see doctors. I grew up with a family full of them.
Your barn has similar features to mine, although mine is in great disrepair. So sad since it stood and serves well for over 100 years, then was left in the care of a widow who did not have the strength to do the maintenance herself. I wish I knew why her children did not care. After her it passed through 3 short term residents until I received the place, too far gone to fix, but still loved.
I appreciate families that carry on the tradition, even more when I know the call of Gypsy blood.

My Shabby Passion said...

Great barn story Lisa! I would not give up my farm upbringing for anything! I think it's great that your kids have the same opportunity to grow up on the farm too. And your family picture is adorable! Christmas card, maybe?
Michelle

Sandi said...

Beautiful images Lisa! I was here a couple days ago and tried to leave a comment and it must not have went through?? Hope it does today!! Great to meet another barn chick and thank you so much for your sweet comments on my barn post!
Blessings~

Gypsy Brocante said...

Wow ... what an heirloom! the barn is just gorgeous and the history behind it even better ... thank you for sharing with all of us!

xo
Jill

The Little Red Shop said...

Oh, wow! What a blessing to live right in the middle of your own family history! (Though, I'm so sorry to hear about your great grandpa's accident!) Thank you for your sweet comment and for your encouragement with my blog! My mom and I didn't get into Vancouver until about 2:30am the night before the BH show...and had a long road ahead of us..so, unfortunately, we didn't stop at any of the other cool sales in town. I wish I had known about yours! It would be lovely to meet you!

: )

Julie M.

Vicki said...

Hi, Lisa,
What a terrific barn and even better story behind it. Your barn post really does have "roots", and I enjoyed reading your family story very much~thank you for coming by to visit me. I appreciate it so much. Have a happy weekend~love and hugs~ Vicki

Brambleberry Cottage said...

What a touching story, Lisa. How wonderful that you now own that barn, and how special it must be to you knowing its history.

I'm still trying to visit everyone from the Barn Chicks party...where I found you.

Congrats on your three year anniversary, and I just joined you as a follower.

I'm a fellow junker, so stop by when you can.

Blessings,
Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

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