Hello everyone! The last couple months went by in such a whir that this post got pushed to the back burner as they say. But I wanted to be sure to share this event with you all as well as for us to have a place to look back on it with fond memories of these days we spent building up a long awaited structure.
For quite a long while our dear "Uncle & Aunt" (only by extreme fondness, not by blood) have had a mid 1800's barn that has been slowly come down around the ears of the little critters therein. The idea was to reuse the salvageable materials from said dear old building, to make that of a newer, more sound, but significantly smaller structure not far from where the old one stood.
In mid October-Novemeber we embedded upon the large task at hand each Sunday of the week. We started out with the foundation that had already been laid by our Uncle and a few of his buddies, but that was only the mere start of how much more wood we needed to rip off fallen (and still standing!) walls, build trusses, roof, and side the new barn before snow flew! Happily enough, the fall weather lingered for extra long this year which helped out considerably!
Since this kind of thing is right up our Dad's alley (he's a builder by trade), he took job of head foreman and got the whole roof intact the first day we began the raising. It was pretty easy to get mesmerized from our demolition (see further down) in watching the guys work. Of course there were a few of us women moving the ambling guys along, but I'm sure you get the picture. ;)
The first week was kinda the breaking point that meant that we were going to be whipping it out before winter, so more people came, kids and good food in tow!
That day will forever be in my memories; cuddling new little babies, trying to keep the younger ones from feeding their cookies to chickens lest they'd give a terrible cry once they'd realized what they'd done, nominating who got to carry the giant pot of chili to the wood stove and peeling apples for pies for later in the day.. All so beautiful to enjoy in cool Autumn air. ;)
Ahh, and here we are! The most fun part of all! Tearing apart the walls of such a structure- what a job! The walls were sided with 3" or so planking (just the way you see the plastic siding now adays) but each piece was separate and nailed with what seemed to be ten nails per slot!
Once the "out side" of the wall was off, then came the meat of the wall we really were trying to get to. These boards were mostly still usable, but they were held on tight by the fine craftsmen who'd put them there so many decades before.
We'd take off boards from the fallen walls, plank by plank, making stacks, loading them in the back of the open-bed pick-up or hauling each one over by hand about 200 yards or so away to where the new barn was being built.
Being all of us quite crazy antique & history lovers, it was kinda hard to make our hands do the work of tearing down what someone else had worked so much harder to build up, but knowing (and seeing!) what we were creating with parts of their amazing work left us able to put our hands to the task and do what we could to keep what had been trodden on for so many years after, being put back to use in better repair.
Soooo many nails we pulled, you'd hardly believe it! But once we'd worked on all the walls we were able to (ones that were hanging or had already fallen/what we could reach on ground and ladder level), it was time to make the wall we needed tumble.
It was epic as you can only imagine, the wives and we girls keeping our ideas to ourselves, snickering at how we thought they'd try to do it- make that last big side wall kiss the ground so we could have more to work on the following week. And more planks to side the new barn with!
But they did it! (After a couple heroic tries which we of course got on video.;))
And look what was able to ensue!
At these last pictures, much still had to be done, but walls and a roof meant the dear little goats would have a much more suitable place to live. Just this past weekend Dad's been over to help out with the back wall that still needed to be sided, but so much was able to get done, so much hard, hard work was put into it. Its been amazing to finally see it come together. :)
The memories playing in that old barn leave a bittersweet taste in my stomach now, but without the loss of the place where those remembrances were made, these new ones would have never been conceived.
What kept you most busy this fall?
Have you ever re-purposed old wood for something?
the elder sister