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Wooden Barns ~ A Casualty of the Modern Age

Updated on June 3, 2016

Wooden Barns ~ Nearly a thing of the Past

With the addition of every new Pole Barn, a wooden barn has likely been lost. These low cost replacements lack a lot of the Americana charm of the classic wooden barn architectural designs. With the rising prices of wood and labor, most of the existing wooden barns are not being preserved, but are being replaced by these modern, and usually very generic, aluminum barns.

All Photographic Images were taken by me in Upstate New York, in the areas of Wheatland, Scottsville, Lima, and Ionia.

Looking at the windows of the photo above, this barn looks to me like a conversion for another purpose. Bravo to the farmer for remodeling and repurposing a fabulous looking barn.

Unless more barns are maintained or preserved, we are surely losing an American icon.

Here's a Wooden Barn-style Home - When's the last time you seen a Pole Barn-style Home?

Not every dilapidated Wooden barn is demolished. Let's hear it for the Cranbury NJ Preservation Society!

Click to see the video dedication on YouTube
Click to see the video dedication on YouTube

Every other barn image on this page was taken by me in the Greater Rochester area in Upstate New York. I featured this one to give major credit to the preservation society in New Jersey for taking the time and money to save a slice of American architectural history.

Barns: Best ways to Preserve, Renovate, Remodel, and Protect - Learn how to save a rural American Icon

Red Barn in a Sunset-washed Corn Field

Popular Barn Toys - I don't know, but... Pole Barn Toys don't sound as cool.

A cool compromise... a Rustic wood-sided Pole Barn

The newest Pole Barns are not nearly as charming as Wooden Barns - Even a Barn slightly leaning with a lacy-looking roof has more charm

This pole Barn was built before the impending collapse of the barn in the foreground it was to replace.

I started to miss the wooden barn before that even occurred. :)

Doomed Wooden Barn in Sunset - Leaning a little. Perhaps it know it's being replaced, and can let go...

Leaning a lot

As you can see, this barn is quite close to the road. I did wonder if it would collapse onto the street at some point.

Barn nearly fallen - This is the same barn as seen from the back side.

Barn has fallen and is rubble - I'm not sure if it actually fell or was pushed over...

I believe it just may have collapsed since it still is there 6 months later. Some of the wood has gone, hopefully recycled since barn wood is a valuable commodity for reclaimed flooring and craft-style furniture.

Apparently my earlier fears were unfounded as the debris fell safely on the side of the barn.

Learn about Barn-raising in the past - I'm pretty sure there is not a party for raising metal pole barns

Why are many Barns painted Red? According to the Farmer's Almanac, early farmers used Linseend Oil mixed with ferrous oxide, or rust, among other ingredients, which prevented fungi and moss. The tint of the orange -yellow oil with the rust produced a red color. Farmers later painted their Barns red to honor that tradition.

When I was a child, I'd also heard that red paint was cheaper.

An old wooden Barn & the Red White & Blue of the American Flag - 2 of my Favorite Things in the U.S. And just slightly west of my hometown.

And Old Barn always warms my heart...   Showing Patriotic colors of the Flag, even better. too
And Old Barn always warms my heart... Showing Patriotic colors of the Flag, even better. too

This barn has watched commerce squeeze in from all sides. Long ago it was probably a good bit further from the road than it is now.

During my lifetime, the road known as a major route running from upstate new york and south went from a regular 2 way street to a 4 lane highway with very wide shoulders. Do we see a 6 lane highway in the future? Maybe so. At the very least it was classified as a U.S. Route in 1926. I have little doubt it began as a dirt road well prior to that time. I'll have to do some research on that.

This photo was taken from the parking lot of the Post Office, which shares parking with the Volunteer Fire Department. Or maybe the Fire department shares with the Post Office. All I know that they have been there a long time, but not quite as long as the barn. But maybe the road was there first. :)

Across the street is an old building that over the past 20 years housed a mom and pop corner store and an insurance office, Then the same Corner Store and small, but really good, Pizza Shop. Finally, the same and now great and still privately owned Pizza and Submarine Sandwich (a.k.a. Sub, Hoagie, Grinder, Torpedo, Hero :) shop took over the whole building.

Reclaimed Barnwood Flag

Rustic Wood American Flag (framed)
Rustic Wood American Flag (framed)

Americana Rustic Stars and Stripes charm from Handmade. Does take a few day to make on your order. Recycled from barn wood and pallets.


Most of the Barns shown on this page are... - from my travels to and from...

3 years later, it's still standing, but looking a little rough.  Any chance it's in negotiation for renewal?  Here's hoping.
3 years later, it's still standing, but looking a little rough. Any chance it's in negotiation for renewal? Here's hoping.

...Gravel Ponds.

Away from my usual route, this is a barn slated for destruction next to the Post Office in Ionia, New York.

OK, beyond the natural dilapidation that has already occurred.

Update: 3 years later, it's still standing, but looking a little rough. Any chance it's in negotiation for renewal? Here's hoping.

If more people are willing to preserve, remodel, or repurpose barns for homes or other uses, perhaps they won't completely disappear one by one like...

public telephone booths.

When is the last time you saw or used one of those?

Will you mourn the demise of Wooden Barns?

See results

Why & How to Reclaim and Recycle Old Barn Wood - If barns are left to destruction beyond redemption, old Barn wood can be reused as an important green desig

Ideas and Projects to Upcycle (Recycle) reclaimed Barn Wood

Reclaimed Barnwood for a Need Indeed

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