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Jul 19, 2013


Abandon buildings these days are all the rage. Everyone loves the rustic, mysterious vibe. There's something so ugly but yet so beautiful about them. My favorite thing about an abandon building is admiring all the textures, designs and materials that went into each piece. Modern designs are so simple. Less is more. More is just too expensive. I found when building our simple pole barn house, that any extra detail like a cupola or door with cross bucks immediately padded the bill more than we wanted. When it came to detail, financially we had to decide what we could and couldn't live without. At what point did detail and design become expensive? At what point did we become a society of less is more when it comes to design?

I feel like there is a lot of waste from all the old churches, school houses and barns that stand dilapidated, wasting away in weeds. I understand sometimes buildings become inefficient and it would cost more to renovate and keep them than it would to just get rid of them. My husband and I know that first hand. We had to knock the old family farm house down. It was only appraised at $15 grand. You can only imagine the amount of materials and money it would have cost us to bring it back to life and make it safely livable. It wasn't pretty though. It's from the era of when people started to keep things simple. There wasn't one thing worth keeping. I look at an old building like this school house and I see hundreds of items I'd love to pull off of it.

Think of all the history. It's hard to believe that not even a hundred years ago, our great and great great grand parents went to a school like this. It makes you sit back and think about how much things have changed. You couldn't even fit one elementary school class in there. Let alone a couple of computer desks. Little school houses like these were once everywhere in the country. They are slowly disappearing. I find it ironic that country Amish school houses are starting to pop up all over. Similar in size.

You're starting to see a lot of old, abandon barns like these around as well. Prior to when I was a kid, small plots of land were starting to be divided and sold to bigger farmers. Often times, these plots came with an old farm house and a barn or two. There wasn't a whole lot you could do with them unless you sunk a bunch of money into them. After all, the land was purchased for the farm ground, not the house or the barns. The barns were still able to be used for storing farm machinery. You might have a farmer with a 1000 acres and 5 different old barns like this scattered across the county that he owned. He may store his combine in one, the hay rake in another and maybe a few gravity wagons in the next. Now, you see less and less of this as these old barns are starting to fall apart. The roofs are caving in and it's not safe to store machinery in them any more. Not to mention, machinery is just getting bigger. And bigger. And bigger.

Gone is the day where everyone had a barn on their property. Gone is the day where everyone had a cow to milk, chickens to gather eggs from and a horse that took them into town. Most people don't know what a corn crib is like the one below. People no longer need these types of barns anymore. They are no longer functional to us.

It makes you wonder what things will no longer be of use to us 100 years from now. What will we see falling apart? Will there even be any of these old barns left?

I just adore these old barns. I always have. I grew up playing in an old barn my whole life. Every time we'd jump in the car and go somewhere, I'd always notice the old buildings along the way. They've always caught my eye. I loved exploring them when I had a chance. I don't know if mom knows this or not, but quite often my brother and I would sneak down the side road from our house and explore the abandon barn and house on the property. I couldn't imagine how dangerous it probably was!

They all seem to be in the same condition. They all seem to have been abandon around the same time. Pole barns became easily accessible and technology brought more advance set ups. Our current farm shop has so many lights, outlets, radiant floor heating and is sealed up so tightly, a spider can barely get in. The technology blows these old barns out of the water. No one wants to pay taxes or pay for a new roof on something that can't be used for much anymore.

I was dying to take a picture of this barn for the longest time. There's nothing around it for miles except rolling ground. When the wheat was up, it was simply gorgeous. I didn't catch a photo in time. The wheat has been harvested prior to this picture. The barn was land locked in the middle of a wheat field. I imagine there once was a house and several buildings surrounding it and even a drive way up to it.

I have been doing a photography study on these old barns and capturing the ghost of rural America. They're good models. They're very artistic. You just have to find the right light and the right angle. They're helping me learn to use my camera. They're also helping me to appreciate our roots. Some of these barns are practically impossible to get to. Weeds and trees can be so overgrown you can barely tell there is a barn amongst the mess.

My husband has been chauffeuring me around the area scoping out abandon barns. I think he secretly likes it. Or else he wouldn't go. It's kind of like a new mission of ours. Searching for our heritage. It's a lot harder to find something when you're specifically looking for it. Where did all the old barns go? They're slowly fading away.

Support small family farms. Don't let them fade away too.


  1. My dad uses an old school house located on their farm property to store his combine. Function meets history. I love it!

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