A road trip through the rural expanses of the United States and Canada is beautiful in itself, but it is greatly enhanced by the presence of old barns dotting the countryside. These antique barns are some of the surviving remnants of the first structures put up by the tough people who started farming these lands. A homesteader barn is sometimes the only reminder that these areas are still rural because of the steady conversion of farms to other more modern purposes such as wineries, resorts and vacation homes.
There was a time, not too long ago, when it would have been unimaginable to have a farm without a homesteader barn. A barn was essential to the farmer because this was where the farm animals were housed and also where hay and other essential items were stored. Farmers spent a lot of time and effort in order to construct these old barns well because they had to be of use for a very long time.
It is not only farmers who find these barns beautiful. Plenty of urban people see them as symbols of a time when the world was a less complicated place, and therefore wish to see these barns saved from destruction. In addition, their historic and cultural relevance has been recognized and a great many people agree that their destruction will result in the loss of a big chunk of the country’s history.
As a result, the has been many efforts have been launched in order to preserve these barns and to keep them as testimony to the spirit that drove the settling of these lands. It is possible to buy an antique barn in order to relocate it to another location, but this is a task that takes a lot of time and effort. This is also a very expensive proposition since a homesteader barn was almost entirely built of timber. They were constructed with loving attention to detail, which included using pegs made of oak or other wood to hold the timbers in place.
Practically every colonial building was made of timber because it was easily available. Cheap to build with, repair, and these barns are no different. After all, the North American continent was well endowed with forests. The timber used for construction of farm houses, barns, churches and other structures varied from place to place, but it was almost always of the best quality. Even today, there are eager buyers for the timber salvaged from old barns that have been demolished.
Any student of North American history is a keen admirer of these structures and other articles and artifacts from that period. There is an immense demand for crafts and bric-a-brac that denotes the pioneer period, and this includes replicas of a homesteader barn or other structures from that period. They are a good way to get kids interested in history instead of depending solely on books for learning.
Ones experience of rural America and Canada is enriched by the presence of a homesteader barn, and it will be a great pity if they are all pulled down. These barns are a standing reminder of the pioneer spirit that built these two countries. They are getting a new lease of life these days since enthusiasts are taking up the challenge of renovating them and converting them into homes or offices, since there is clearly no need to store hay these days. It is a lovely sight to see a carefully restored barn bustling with life, just like it was in the old days when it was built.
This article was prepared by Paul Nerrad on behalf of Crafty Design www.logcabintoys.com. Crafty Design is located in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada and specializes in Homesteader Barn Models and other kits.