barn education

NBA Partners with Belmont College for 2016 Spring Meeting in Ohio

Posted by on Mar 10, 2016 in barn education, Barn Preservation, Conferences, workshop | 1 comment

National Barn Alliance’s 2016 Spring Meeting to be Hosted by Preservation Program at Belmont College in Ohio!

The National Barn Alliance (NBA), whose mission is to protect and preserve America’s historic barns and rural heritage, is partnering with the Building Preservation/Restoration (BPR) Program at Belmont College to offer a unique glimpse into the physical labor and craftsmanship behind saving our barns. The Spring Meeting will be held at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio, from April 8-10, 2016. BPR Program students will be leading hands-on demonstrations during the conference.  The meeting is open to NBA members, but registration is required as available space is limited.

The NBA is pleased to make this connection with one of the country’s leading hands-on preservation training programs, led by Program Coordinator, David Mertz, since 1989.  Mr. Mertz also serves on the Board of the Preservation Trades Network (PTN)—an organization that the NBA is partnering with again for their annual conference later in the year.  The NBA holds an open Board Meeting focused on the organization’s major initiatives and bottom line each year which also seeks to introduce the organization to a new group of Preservation students at institutes of higher learning. In 2013, this event was held in conjunction with the Department of Historic Preservation at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and, after a failed attempt due to a snow storm in 2014, with the Historic Preservation Program at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania, in 2015.

Danae Peckler, NBA Board member and Past President, is excited for this year’s meeting at Belmont and the hands-on learning experience that it will provide.  “Education, networking, and the physical act of preservation are three of the four tenets in our mission, so this meeting really hits at the core of what we seek to do as an organization,” she observed.  “We are thrilled to be hosted by Belmont College and the talented students in its renowned preservation trades program.”

The NBA anticipates a number of representatives from its organizational allies and other preservation groups will also be in attendance. “Our Spring Meeting will be held just two weeks before the Friends of Ohio Barns’ 17th annual conference in Butler County, so together, we hope to increase awareness and support for barn preservation in the state, at large,” said current NBA President, Don Truax. “We want people to realize that historic farms and barns embody the built record of everyone’s story – and our story is worth the fight.”

If you are interested in attending the NBA’s Spring Meeting at Belmont College in St. Clairsville, Ohio, April 9-10, or want to learn more about this great event, please contact info@barnalliance.org. Space will be limited, so please remember to register early.  NBA Membership forms can also be downloaded from their website here: https://www.barnalliance.org/join-us/.

 

Read More

NBA’s 2015 in Review

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in Agricultural Architecture, barn education, Barn Preservation | Comments Off on NBA’s 2015 in Review

The National Barn Alliance in 2015 (as faithfully reported by NBA Vice President, Chuck Bultman)

As 2015 draws to a close we, like many, reflect on our past year. But we don’t just do that and send it to you so we can get a pat on the back, or an “attaboy.” No we do it to keep you informed about where we are focusing our efforts as you may have an opinion about what we are, or are not accomplishing. We welcome your feedback. We also do this to add to the conversation about barn preservation in the hopes that you will be talking about it with your friends and colleagues and possibly get them involved and contributing as well. As you know well this is an important and rewarding activity and we can use all of the help we can get.

What you may not know so well is your NBA Board is made up of volunteers all across the country, all of which are very involved with the state and local preservation efforts where we live, as well as the local organizations that are championing those efforts. We are all knowledgeable about the barns in our respective states, as well as those in some of the surrounding states. As such, when we do talk as a board (which we do monthly) and when we meet in person (which we try to do twice a year) we share our experiences and knowledge that comes from our region. In short, we learn from each other.

It is in that spirit of sharing that we write this article today. And it is that spirit of sharing that the board of the National Barn Alliance commits itself. The NBA continues its commitment to act as a facilitator for people across the country who are interested in saving the barns where they live. We do that by sharing the information we know and have gathered from barn preservationists across the country for many years. We also put people in touch with local and/or national experts to help them with their preservation efforts… much can be accomplished from anywhere in the country.

So in that spirit of sharing last summer the NBA board decided to ‘share’ our annual conference with the newly formed Indiana Barn Foundation at their summer conference; this was just the second year the IBF held a conference. Seven board members made the trip to Indianapolis for three days and participated in a spirited conference of about 75 attendees. It was a well attended and high-energy conference and we met so many nice Hoosiers who have kept in touch over the last six months; we are now resources for each other.

And while we were in Indianapolis, three of us stopped by the Indiana American Institute of Architects‘ office the day before the conference to talk with local architects about barn preservation and possible adaptations over lunch. It was a great opportunity to spread the good word about barns to professionals who may not have old timber-framed buildings on their radar. And again we are now each other’s resource.

Sharing can be contagious. Last year the NBA board voted to financially support an effort to make a documentary about Midwest barns. The movie is to be called The Barn Raisers and is being made by filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films. This film is also being supported by a number of Midwest state barn preservation organizations (OH, MI, KS, IN, IA) as well as humanities councils in those states. But the big deal about this project is that the filmmakers have pulled into the documentary the voices of not only the barn owners but also the many knowledgeable barn preservationists who populate these organizations, including the NBA. The film is due out in late 2016 and we are anxious to see what they make.

Sometimes we share just by showing up. November was the annual conference of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was in Washington D.C. The organization has maintained a presence at this conference for more than a decade with six NBA board members attending this year’s event. It was a very nice opportunity to reconnect with the many preservationists we know and some we only know from their work or writings. We also connected with leaders from other organizations who are committed to preservation in one way or another, resulting in a number of potential partnerships for years to come! As always, it was a very rewarding experience for the NBA and our growing network of barn preservationists across the country.

2015 also found the NBA sharing with the Timber Framers Guild, which is dedicated to the craft of timber framing as well as educating young carpenters in this ancient art. Past vice-president, Jeff Marshall, helped to organize and host a gathering of timber framers in his barn-rich county in eastern Pennsylvania. This conference included a barn tour as well as a number of presentations, including one by Jeff. NBA Past President Charles Leik also worked with the guild last year as their Treasurer, recently partnering with the organization to build a new timber-framed structure in his Michigan town of Portland.

Charles Leik has also kept us informed on the future of “the Star Barn” outside of Harrisonburg, PA. We at the NBA were also pleased to hear that in 2015 the Star Barn complex, that iconic Victorian barn grouping that found themselves alone on the side of a highway are finally being saved. Attempts to save these icons of agricultural architecture have been in the works for decades, with a number of NBA board members visiting the site and working to spread the word about their plight. And while we recognize that it is a compromise to move these buildings, we are happy that they will still be in eastern Pennsylvania, and that the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places will continue to recognize them as nationally significant historic buildings.  Other sharing endeavors the 2015 to tell you about include facilitating the saving of one of only four octagonal barns that are believed to exist in Michigan, this barn is in Cadillac.  A team is being assembled to consult with the community and a fund raising effort is being shaped.

Lastly, we would like to point out an absence in our world. Have you ever seen a U. S. postage stamp that illustrates a real barn? Maybe the T.A. Moulton barn in Wyoming; supposedly the most photographed barn in the country. Or the Star Barn, which is a rock star on the east coast. Michigan’s iconic barn is the D. H. Day barn in Glen Arbor. Or even the eastern Tennessee cantilevered barns that inspired the NBA’s most recent tee shirts. Search any of these and many beautiful images appear. However the U. S. Postal service had never published the image of one of these; or any other real barn. As far as we can tell the Postal service has two stamps with ‘likenesses’ of barns; one red and one white. In 2015 we at the NBA have made the case to the Postal Service that it is time to honor barns with stamps like lighthouses and other iconic working buildings have been honored. It is time. That process however is complicated and opaque. We will not know if, or when, the Postal Service will make this happen. But someone had to make the request. And who better than the NBA?

It has been a good year here at the NBA. Spread the word and ask others to join in the barn preservation movement with us.  Historic barns everywhere need our support!

Read More

Ghosts of Barns Past

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Agricultural Architecture, barn education, Barn Preservation | 1 comment

These observations come to us from our resident “barn medium” Jeffrey Marshall, a past NBA VP and current President of the Historic Farm and Barn Foundation of Pennsylvania.

Many current barns represent “Second Generation” structures replacing original, often smaller pioneer structures.  In the spirit of Halloween and ghosts, here are two examples of “ghosts of barns past.”  The first is located on Woolverton Road, in Stockton NJ.  Note the detailed image showing tapered rafters and tie beam are visible and the roughness of the stones at the right–this suggests that we are seeing the interior wall of the original barn.

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second example is located on Dolington Road in Lower Makefield, PA.  In this instance, it appears that the old barn was incorporated into the new, larger one, and we are viewing the outside of the original structure.

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

Photo Credit: J. Marshall

 

Read More

Dating Barns in New Jersey with Dendrochronology

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in barn education, Barn Preservation, Barn Tour, Events | Comments Off on Dating Barns in New Jersey with Dendrochronology

Dating Barns in Holland Township, New Jersey with Dendrochronology (Part 1)

This month’s post was written by NBA member and Historic Preservation Consultant, Carla Cielo.  She has been working hard for many years to raise awareness of historic barns in her area and will be featuring some of the results of this work during the first-ever Dendro-Dated Barn Tour later this month on October 17th.

Dendro pic from hunterdon NJ_C.Cielo

Photo credit: C. Cielo

Dendrochronology which is commonly known as tree ring dating, derives the felling date of the trees that were used to build a structure. At $2,000 a barn, few can afford the luxury of dating barns by this method. So why undertake such an expense? If an approximate date would suffice, the Holland Township Historic Preservation Commission (HTHPC) would be content with the dates assigned to each of the 88 barns that were surveyed and studied in Holland Township, New Jersey and were based on a visual analysis of the timbers, saw and auger marks, nails, framing methodology, and plan. But the commission is after a lot more…

Image Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Wydner

Image Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Wydner

When viewed as a collection of barns in a defined region, the barns reveal a history of agricultural settlement to which dendrochronology can enhance. Holland Township, which borders the Delaware River and the state of Pennsylvania in northern Hunterdon County, was associated with the 1727 Durham Iron Furnace early on, and, as such, supported easterly migration from Pennsylvania. The HTHPC received two grants from the NJ Historical Commission to dendro date 10 of the oldest barns in the township and hopes to answer the following questions from the precise dates:

• When did the Pennsylvania Forebay bank barn form migrate from Pennsylvania into Holland Township, New Jersey?

• Does the earlier ground-level, three-bay, swing beam barn type predate German migration from Pennsylvania?

• Was the ground-level, three-bay, swing beam barn type built during the 1750-90 tenant period?

• Did a much lighter style of timber framing migrate from Pennsylvania along with the forebay barn form?

The results of the first 10 barns tested will be published this fall along with the first ever dendro dated barn tour.

Editor’s note: As mentioned in the introduction, Carla is leading a FREE barn tour on October 17th that will feature several these dendro-dated barns and other structures in Hunterdon County – see details below!

FIRST EVER –  TOUR OF BARNS DATED WITH DENDROCHRONOLOLGY IN HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, HUNTERDON COUNTY, NJ
Tour five barns (1787 to 1825) that have been dated with dendrochronolgy;  two ground-level, three-bay, swing beam barns, two Pennsylvania forebay bank barns, and one hybrid.
Saturday October 17, 2015  from 1-4:30
Please call or write Carla Cielo for the meeting place.
908-284-9638

 

Read More

NBA Partners with Indiana Barn Foundation for 2015 Conference

Posted by on Jun 10, 2015 in barn education, Barn Preservation, Barn Tour, Conferences, Teamwork & Timbers | Comments Off on NBA Partners with Indiana Barn Foundation for 2015 Conference

Indiana Barn Foundation and National Barn Alliance Coming Together July 18th to Talk Barn Preservation! 

IBF logoSome of our biggest barn-loving fans are certainly aware of the great strides that the Indiana Barn Foundation (IBF) has made in its first two years, but the NBA couldn’t be more excited to travel to Indianapolis next month for the organization’s 2nd Annual Meeting and Conference at the Normandy Barn of the Indiana State Fairgrounds from 9am to 5pm on Saturday, July 18th.  If you missed the NBA in Indianapolis for the 2013 National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference, now is your chance to become a member and buy some great barn-preservation merchandise to show your support for all those who #saveourbarns!

The Indiana Barn Foundation, whose mission is to support the preservation of historic barns, has brought together a wide array of barn preservationists from across the Hoosier State and raised awareness about the value of Indiana’s historic barns in a number of ways, most notably with their lobbying support of tax relief legislation aimed at lessening the tax burden of property owners with historically significant barns!  True to fashion, the NBA will also be holding our Annual Membership Meeting that weekend (details to follow via electronic communication to NBA members).

Photo Red Barn With Flowers

Image courtesy of Indiana Barn Foundation

A recent press release from IBF details: “From barn enthusiasts to experts, this one-day event will offer options for anyone who appreciates barns and wants to see them remain part of Indiana’s landscape. Barn owners can learn from a panel of contractors and preservation experts during a Question and Answer Session, and will hear about legislative efforts affecting barn owners.

“The keynote speaker is architect Chuck Bultman, of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Bultman has adapted over 30 barns to new uses, including wedding venues and event spaces, and has restored barns ‘to just be barns’. Bultman is a board member of the NBA and member of several preservation organizations including the Timber Framers Guild.  Attendees will also meet artists and crafters with a passion for artwork that features barns, including painter Gwen Gutwein, photographer Marsha Williamson-Mohr, and Indiana Artisan Dorrell Harris. Indiana Barn Foundation’s plans for a Bicentennial Barn Quilt will also be revealed.

ResurrectionOfaBarn_v5“Other highlights of the day will be a screening of “The Resurrection of a Barn” by IBF member and filmmaker Freddi Stevens-Jacobi, a catered lunch served family style and accompanied by live music, and a close-up look at how barns are constructed with the raising of a scale model wooden barn and also a computer-generated barn model. At 3 o’clock the conference will move to Zionsville, and conclude with a tour of the farm and historic barns of Traders Point Creamery.

“Those who wish are welcome to join IBF and NBA members for an evening meal at Traders Point Creamery in The Loft Restaurant. Dinner is not included in the registration fee, and reservations are recommended.”

Registration cost for the entire day will include lunch and barn tour and will be just $40 per person ($30 for IBF or NBA members). Online registration is available on the Indiana Barn Foundation web site at www.indianabarns.org, under Events. Membership forms can also be found on the website.

We hope you will join us in Indy!

 

 

Read More