By Barbara Lang / Contributing Writer
CARROLLTON, Ohio — More than 100 barn enthusiasts from Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania took part in the 19th annual Friends of Ohio Barns Conference last month in Carroll County.
The conference highlights barns in a different county every year. This year’s event included an optional pre-conference workshop at historic Algonquin Mill.
On Friday, 110 people were able to get a firsthand look at six of the best examples of timber-framed barns in Carroll County. Tour-goers viewed an outstanding 1820s Sweitzer barn, a double-crib log barn, and a former dairy barn that was refurbished into a residence and is currently used as a popular venue for weddings and receptions.
On Saturday, members and guests met at the newly constructed timber framed conference center designed by Rudy Christian at FFA Camp Muskingum near Carrollton for the business meeting and presentations.
Barn of the Year Awards for 2019 were presented to Todd and Kim Davis for Agricultural Use; to Scott and Debbie Druhot for Stewardship; and to Don and Robin Warner for Adaptive Re-use.
Dan Troth, vice president of Friends of Ohio Barns, explained Ohio H.B. 12, which would designate the barn as the official historical architectural structure of Ohio.
Last spring, the House of Representatives voted 96-0 in favor of the legislation. It was referred to the Senate agriculture committee last April, but has had no additional action since then.
Troth is hopeful the Senate will act, and this will raise awareness of the 1800s timber-framed barns disappearing from the Ohio landscape. He said as many as a dozen of these iconic structures are being torn down to be used for furniture and flooring or are being shipped to other states where they don’t have barns.
Rudy Christian and Laura Saeger presented a slide show from their work in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They were able to experience day-to-day life and customs as they restored a teak barn from the 1800s.
Events. Friends of Ohio Barns will hold a fall picnic in northwest and east-central Ohio.
The 20th annual barn conference will take place in Licking County the last weekend in April 2019.
Friends of Ohio Barns is a 501C3 and is a volunteer organization funded completely by memberships and donations. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in preserving timber- framed barns and other buildings.
For more information about Friends of Ohio Barns, visit www.Friendsofohiobarns.org or call 330-464-0624.