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Old barns are heritage icons - where is your favorite?

Updated on June 2, 2014

Don't you just love these old barns - let's look at a few!

I've looked at some of the 'old barn' lenses already posted, but will take a different tack to provide some new information. I've Featured a couple of my favorite 'old barn' lens, below, but the remainder of this lens is my viewpoint of 'old barns' as heritage icons.

Barns represent farm life. A huge majority of us in the USA have agriculture and farming in our ancestry if not our personal background. Thomas Jefferson, the Founding Father, hoped to see a nation of 'yeoman farmers.' I grew up on an Iowa farm - our barn is long gone, but I've got a photo or two of it I think you'll like.

In this lens we will look at several very different Old Barns. See what you think after taking this tour.

Join me is this fun adventure: Old barns as heritage icons!

Photo Credit for "Getting a Drink by the Old Barn" - I took this photo myself, of my oldest daughter, on the farm where I grew up (coming up on 50 years ago). The water from that hydrant was DELICIOUS! ;-)

Orphea Duty barn, in Arkansas
Orphea Duty barn, in Arkansas

The Old Barn that got this lens started

Orphea Duty barn, in Arkansas

I had saved this photo from a story I did at Examiner.com (see link to that article, below) on the Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas in the Ozarks region.

If you click on the link, you go to the Wikipedia Article about it, and related historical building in the region, including the Villines Mill (which I will feature in a later lens on Mills). Note in particular the three historical periods of building structures is discusses.

This barn is located in the Big Buffalo Valley Historic District, administered by the National Park Service.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Old Barns on Amazon

Three-story stone barn on the grounds, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Three-story stone barn on the grounds, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Three story limestone barn - restored to working glory

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Chase County, Kansas

This barn was built as part of an 1880s working cattle ranch in the Kansas Flint Hills. Click on the photo to be taken to the National Park Service site for the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve of which it is now a part. The working ranch aspect of the site is being restored. Buffalo were recently reintroduced along with the many cattle that have been brought in each summer to graze to achieve amazing growth results for commercial beef production while maintaining proper prairie management.

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was named as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas in January of 2008.

Barn is lower center of this late 1940 photo of the farm
Barn is lower center of this late 1940 photo of the farm

The Old Barn on my home farm in western Iowa

Barn is lower center of this late 1940 photo of the farm

Our big Old Barn on the farm where I grew up in western Iowa in the 1940s and 1950s was originally red, as in this aerial photo of the farm.

Later, my Dad painted it white. You will see both in the photos in the photo gallery below of kids on the farm, with the barn in the background. I'll add additional photos here as I come across them... I know I have more! ;-)

For many years, my Dad milked cows in the front, raised hogs in the back, and kept the big second floor haymow full of straw and alfalfa hay!

Photo credits: the aerial photo has been in my family for years, I scanned it. I took one, my Mom took two of them.

Kids on the farm, with our old barn in the background - 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is me in about 1942, barn and car in the background - my Mom took this photo!  ;-)This is in 1947, two neighbors and my three year old brother... I'm on the right on my bike! Mom took this one as well.About 1962, my oldest daughter on the farm attempting to get a drink from the faucet into the old tin up that always hung on the steel post!  ;-)Aerial photo of the farm, old barn near center, late 1940s
This is me in about 1942, barn and car in the background - my Mom took this photo!  ;-)
This is me in about 1942, barn and car in the background - my Mom took this photo! ;-)
This is in 1947, two neighbors and my three year old brother... I'm on the right on my bike! Mom took this one as well.
This is in 1947, two neighbors and my three year old brother... I'm on the right on my bike! Mom took this one as well.
About 1962, my oldest daughter on the farm attempting to get a drink from the faucet into the old tin up that always hung on the steel post!  ;-)
About 1962, my oldest daughter on the farm attempting to get a drink from the faucet into the old tin up that always hung on the steel post! ;-)
Aerial photo of the farm, old barn near center, late 1940s
Aerial photo of the farm, old barn near center, late 1940s
An Amish Barn in Pennsylvania
An Amish Barn in Pennsylvania

An Amish Barn in Pennsylvania

A more modern barn, that will be an Old Barn, one day... ;-)

This is a more modern barn, an Amish barn in Pennsylvania.

Barns are used for many purposes on farms. Whereas at our farm, it was only used for purposes related to livestock, the barn could be used to store equipment, as a grainery, and so forth. Dad milked a few cows in stanchions in our barn, but a full dairy operation is another use of many barns.

Click on the photo to see a more details description of barns on Wikipedia.

Photo Credit: WIkimedia Commons

Your Comments are welcomed on my Old Barn lens

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    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @lesliesinclair: It is, for sure. It is a centerpiece of the National Historic Site... Gets better and better, actually! Buy a kid a farm yard of animals and a barn this season! ;-)

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      For some reason I've never thought of the idea of making or buying toy barns for kids. It's a great idea. I've lived long enough to remember real working barns just down the lane. I imagine it would be a delight to tour that 3-story working limestone barn.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @Johanna Eisler: For sure! Good for you! Thanks! ;-)

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 5 years ago

      Whenever we are traveling, naturally, my camera must come along, too. One of my favorite things is "barn-spotting," and I get so excited to find a picturesque old barn along the way that I can photograph. I really enjoyed finding another barn lover here! :)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @anonymous: Thank you! It was a lot of fun to build! ;-)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just a very cool lens, with a lot of great images. I especially like the Amish barn.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @koolclipz: Wonderful! My hometown is Coon Rapids, Iowa! ;-)

    • koolclipz profile image

      koolclipz 5 years ago

      Love this lens. My favorite is sitting 30 feet from the RV we live in in southern Iowa! :) I would share a photo tomorrow if you like?

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @sudosu44: Great story! ;-)

    • sudosu44 profile image

      sudosu44 5 years ago

      My favorite old barn is across the road from the Brook Forest Inn in Evergreen, CO. The Inn and the barn have a lot of history including a man who hung himself over lost love. His spirit is said to visit the Inn, but I haven't seen him. ;)

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 5 years ago from West Village, New York City

      My favorite is the round barn at the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts. But any barn in Chester County, PA, where I was born, is just gorgeous.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @BLouw: Sad! Have you taken photo? Make a lens! I'd love to see it! ;-)

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I do quite love old barns - thanks so much for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      The old barns in Limousin, France, are very different from these American ones. They are not appreciated enough and they are being allowed to simply fall down. Such a shame!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @JoshK47: Thank you, Josh... very much! ;-)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @Brandi Bush: Wonderful story... thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

      I love old barns! We owned a property in UT and our barn was part of the town's old train station...it had been moved to our property after the station closed. There was still graffiti from the 1800's inside! It was pretty amazing...

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @anonymous: Thank you. That is very satisfying! ;-)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Makes me nostalgic.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @siobhanryan: Thank you, so much! ;-)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @LiteraryMind: For sure! You are quite welcome! ;-)

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      I love old barns-Blessed

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      i like old barns. If I ever get ambitious again, I will go out and sketch some. They have a kind of folksy charm that can't be duplicated. Thanks for sharing some.

    • KandDMarketing profile image

      KandDMarketing 5 years ago

      My favorite old barn is long gone. My grandparents had a farm in Upstate NY. On that farm was an old (my grandfather said it was built in the late 1800s) barn that had a huge hay loft, a first floor for working and a ground level for the animals. There was also a milking wing that had been added on shortly before my grandparents purchased it. One of my favorite pastimes was finding a hollow in the hay bales where I could sit and read. Even in the Upstate NY winters, it was warm and cozy!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @WriterJanis2: They would have some stories to tell... if they could talk to us! ;-)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Love the historic value these barns hold.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @Thankfultw: Oh, that sounds interesting... THANKS! ;-)

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @anonymous: Thanks for your comments, bandit20! ;-)

    • Thankfultw profile image

      Thankfultw 5 years ago

      Having been raised in the Mojave desert, I had to get my barn fix through books. I love the book, "The Enchanted Barn" by Grace Livingston Hill. They remake an old barn in the book. Great lens! Thank you.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I live in old barns. Very special, to me.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @Virginia Allain: To me they each say: "I have a story to tell - stop and think about what that might be." And I do! ;-) Thanks for the visit! ;-)

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Thank you for featuring my Save an Old Barn lens. Most people merely glance at a barn in passing, perhaps thinking it is picturesque. They give little thought to the economic conditions that contribute to its dilapidated condition.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @mbgphoto: Multiple thanks! Appreciate you stopping by! Hope I can live up to Mentors standards. Thanks for encouragement! ;-)

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Love your article on Old Barns. My husband and I were vacationing in Door Country Wisconsin and became fascinated with the old barns that I photographed for a calendar. It was a fun project. Welcome to RocketSquid Mentors!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @artbyrodriguez: This was my 100th high-level SquidLike, overall - I really appreciate that, especially on this one! Thanks for the memories! ;-)

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      These barns bring back memories of my Grandparents barn in Pennsylvania. I especailly remember the pigs banging against the half door. I always thought they would get out.

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image
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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      @KittySmith: Thank you! Comments like this are what keep me going. Thank you, so much! ;-)

    • KittySmith profile image

      KittySmith 5 years ago

      I love photographing old barns. Your lens really spoke to me.