My husband and I bought our home near Battle Creek in 1982. Within about a mile stood a wonderful, but lonely barn that had not been used since the 1960s. Built in the early 1900s, the three-bay, pegged, English barn fascinated me. I was in love.
Many years passed and in the early 2000s, I happened one day to see the man who owned the barn cutting trees near its south end. Excited that he was getting damaging limbs, roots, and brush away from the barn, I asked if he was going to be repairing it.
“That old thing?” he said. “I wish someone would burn it!”
That struck terror to my heart. Quickly I asked if I might have the barn to which he happily replied, “It is yours.”
I promised to remove it within five years. My husband and I cleaned and began to do things to stabilize the barn as well as had plans drawn to make it our home. Meanwhile, I spent many contented, dream-filled hours just being – simply being with my barn which I had come to name, “Grandfather.”
The five years passed, we dismantled tagged, and put the barn in dry storage while site-planning for relocation began. Then, I guess one could say, the universe had other plans for us and for my beloved barn.
In the cold of late November, 2014, it was loaded onto a flatbed for its move to Illinois. Purchased by a timber frame company which works across the country, Grandfather Barn will rise again to enjoy new life. We have been promised we can visit!
If there is a barn you know and love, become its friend. Help it to live on.
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