Memories Of Old Barns

A picture of my mother in front of my Aunt Bertha’s barn that I played in as a kid.

Every farm needs a barn, if your farm has a old barn that was built before 1960, I envy you. Barns to me say farm, and they add a certain charm and romance to the place. As a kid growing up in the 50’s and 60’s there were lots of old barns still standing in Iowa, sadly alot of the those old barns are no longer there. I had two Aunts who had married farmers and I loved going to visit them on the farm, and what I remember most is playing in the old barns. All of us kids, the first thing would would do after getting hugged and kissed from our Aunt, we would head straight to the old barn to explore. We loved playing hide and seek in the hayloft with the smell of well made hay, it always seemed dark and cool there. One friend of my parents even had an old juke box in the hayloft of their barn were they had barn dances on occasion. We learned a lot on those visits to the farm, we learned where eggs come from and we learned about sex, yes sex. There seemed to be lots of sex going on all the time in the barn yard and it was after one of our first visits my mother had to explain about the birds and the bees to us kids.

Part of My Aunts Bertha’s Dairy Herd

 So I have lots of great memories hanging around the old barns, and it is of these memories that started my dream of wanting to be a farmer. If you are lucky enough to have an old barn on your farm, I hope you take care of it, so it will be around for future generations.

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About Gordon Milligan

I am a conductor for a commuter railroad in Chicago IL, I have bought a 40 acre farm in South Central Iowa that I plan to retire to in 3 yrs. I want to raise and grow most of my own food using sustainible and organic methods. I have a blog that journals my journey to becoming a farmer.
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7 Responses to Memories Of Old Barns

  1. Jewels says:

    These are awesome old photos Gordon. 🙂

  2. Susan Lea says:

    Hey, Gordon, I’m glad I found your blog. I found its url over on Eden WY, the blog you found through my blog! Boy, what a time you’ve had with planting those trees; I hope things will start to go better. I love your barn shots; I’ve had the privilege to explore an old barn, and it’s a truly magical experience. I wish we had one! We have a barn, but it’s not old; however, our grandson who’s 1 1/2 is fascinated with the inside of our quonsett hut/hay barn, so I guess any barn will do for a kid!

    • Thanks for stopping by Susan, I love your blog. My wife and I hope to do what you and your husband are doing when we retire. We just want to have a few cows and a couple of hogs and of course some chickens too, like you two we just want to raise them for our own food. I have read alot of your past posts and you two really know about pasture farming. I look forward to following your blog.

      Yea, I think so too, kids will love just about any barn. I have a grandson thats about the same age and we will be taking them to our farm next month and I bet he will be fascinated with our new pole barn too.

  3. Langela says:

    We had an old barn on our place when we moved here. I would walk inside and begin to dream of how it once was used. I loved finding old tools and lights left behind years ago. In fact, when we built our new barn, I used a few things I found in the old one as parts to a new door we built. The old one was falling down. The main beams for it were old trees, complete with bark. I wished it had neat old beams found in some barns rather than just logs. Oh well.

    • That old barn on your place sounds cool to me. I bet it was a older barn that predates the ones with the milled beams. early 1800’s. Is the old barn still there? I always thought it would be cool to have some old barn beams in my pole barn house.

      • Langela says:

        No, we took it down. It was falling down beyond repair. We were afraid the next storm would flatten it and kill our animals. It was where the ducks, chickens, cats, and dog stayed. It was sad to see it go. We took it down piece by piece and it took the whole summer. We salvaged a lot of the wood and the tin roof. I always wanted old barn beams in my house, too. We may still put some on the exterior porch or on the porch of the new barn.

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