Columbiana County landmark is coming down

Zarnosky barn
Joe and Ruth Zarnosky of Columbiana County, Ohio, are having their barn professionally disassembled.

COLUMBIANA, Ohio — One hundred years of family memories and 150 years of life — the Zarnosky barn is coming down.

Over the years, many people from eastern Columbiana County came to purchase their milk and produce from this 82-acre farm. Located on the north side of the road just west of the former Theron Store, now the Columbiana Flea Market, the barn stood prominently.

The landmark is thought to have been built in 1870, and specific elements within the barn tell the history, like the built-in ladders the original builders would have used to construct the barn, Joe said.

Local flight schools used the old barn and homestead as a landmark for pilot training, he added.

“Now, often times people just come to visit and enjoy old-time memories while standing around,” Ruth Zarnosky said.


This is all changing. First, the family’s farmhouse burned down Dec. 28, 2013. It was replaced by a new home on the same foundation, but nothing like the landmark farm homestead.

Now, it is time to take the barn down due to age and deterioration, said Ruth. “The barn was leaning and it would cost way too much to restore.”

“Of course we have regrets because it has always been a part of our family’s life, as a dairy farm,” Joe said. The family operated a dairy for two generations, a produce market and most recently a flea market.

The 62 acres still attached to the barn are now rented to local farmers with big machines that do the job quick, said Joe.

New life.

K&L Homes and Barns from Piedmont, Ohio, was brought in to look at the barn and assess the ability to repurpose the beams, siding and other wooden elements.

The plan is for much of the wood to be saved — beams and flooring will be used for building other homes throughout Ohio and across the country.

Many pieces will be shipped to build log cabin homes, repair other barns or build furniture such as benches, workers with K&L told Ruth.

The men working to remove the barn do so piece by piece, dusting them off and removing every nail, getting them ready for transport.

“The company tearing down the barn makes it look like they are operating on something beautiful, something that still has a heart,” Ruth said.

It will take several weeks to disassemble the barn, pull the frame down and clean it up.

“We feel that others will get great satisfaction from a part of our barn,” said Joe. “Maybe we can feel a little more at peace that it is not just being destroyed completely as our home was.”

They are going to keep parts of the barn, too, to make some kind of tribute on the property for them to keep, the Zarnoskys said.

The company tearing down the barn is doing so in exchange for other work to be completed on various remaining outbuildings.

“Life is completely different on our property, after the loss of the homestead and now the barn, but we know that it is time, and life will go on,” Joe said.

Your piece

The Zarnoskys want to offer local folks a piece of the memory. If you were part of the memories of the Zarnosky homestead, you can stop and pick up a piece from a wood pile in the front yard. A way to keep a barn alive that has been in Columbiana County for more than 150 years.

Zarnosky barn

This barn has stood in Columbiana County for 150 years, for most of those years as a family dairy operation.
1 View

Zarnosky barn

This barn has stood in Columbiana County for 150 years, for most of those years as a family dairy operation.
2 View

Zarnosky barn

The Zarnosky barn has been a landmark in Columbiana County Ohio for nearly 150 years. This fall it is being professionally disassembled.
3 View

Zarnosky barn

The large wooden beams which once held up the barn floor were thought to have come from trees that once stood on the Zarnosky's 83-acre farm
4 View

Zarnosky barn

Farm and Dairy file photo
5 View

Zarnosky barn

Piece by piece the barn is coming down and will shipped across the country for various construction projects.
6 View

Zarnosky barn

K&L Home and Barns from Piedmont, Ohio, is tearing the barn down. The wood will be used to build homes, repair other barns and for custom furniture.


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Katy Mumaw is a graduate of Ohio State University where she studied agricultural communications and Oklahoma State University earning her master's in agricultural leadership. The former Farm and Dairy reporter enjoys family time and sharing the stories of agriculture.



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