Updated: Mar 20, 2020
I have been photographing barns for over 10 years.
I knew sooner or later I would meet an owner of a barn I have photographed. It finally happened at a fall farm show in Iowa. We were set up selling my barn photography and antiques when an older couple approach me. They were ashamed to say, but told me their old barn was going to be demolished in the spring. They explained of the many safety concerns with the barn and unfortunately it had to be done. The couple asked me if I could come out and photograph their barn. I agreed, I was happy to help them preserve the memory of their barn. They proceeded to tell me where it was located and especially proud that it is a century farm with one of the oldest barns in the area. The barn was home to many champion cart racing horses over the years. The man had many fond memories of the barn and the horses. His eyes sparkled as he described his barn. Listening to his stories I felt as if he were describing an old friend. As he described his barn it felt familiar to me, turns out, I knew it well, it was one of my first subjects! I shared the image with them that I shot several years prior. They were delighted. Later that month, I revisited my old friend with the blessings of the owners. I took my time, shooting many images. Marveling at the stone foundation, hand hewn timbers and pegs. The horse stalls with the chewed marks formed over many years of bored horses. After my visit, I provided them with several pictures.
The next spring I received a call from the owners, inviting me back to help salvage what I could from my old friend. It was very sad....but I was grateful to say goodbye. All the old doors found their way to our antique store, and eventually they were sold one by one to be re-purposed. Every new owner learned about the barn that their door came from. Each piece I sold came with a twinge of pain in my heart. But it was the best I could do to honor the old barns memory. I kept the old horse feed bunk for my personal treasure.
If you would like to share your barn memories please comment below. And if you have a special story you would like to share with the Barn Addict members feel free to reach out to me through email.