SALEM, Ohio – As Jan Douglass drove through Columbiana County recently, she was saddened at the number of barns falling into disrepair. Many had been ignored for years and some were being recycled for their materials.
Douglass felt compelled to preserve these symbols of rural culture and thought perhaps she could write a book about barns.
But in the end, it wasn’t a book Douglass used to publicize Columbiana County’s barns. Instead, she opted to create a century barns poster that shows 11 of the county’s working barns.
Fundraiser. Farm and Dairy publisher Scot Darling agreed to donate the printing of the posters and 100 percent of the proceeds from their sale will benefit Columbiana County 4-H.
“When Jan approached me with her idea to raise funds for 4-H, the timing could not have been better,” Darling said. “Rather than just writing a check to 4-H, I was looking for a project that could create a greater awareness of the financial needs of the program.”
Douglass spearheaded an effort to collect pictures of barns from around the county. With the help of Farm and Dairy, she asked area residents to submit photos of their favorite barns and the effort generated nearly 45 entries.
“This project has spawned interest all over the country,” Douglass said.
Ambitious. One aspiring photographer, Ryan Pastircak, 11, submitted 15 photos of various barns.
Pastircak lives in Tuscarawas County and had just purchased his first digital camera when he heard about the century barns poster. The youth has two aunts who live in Columbiana County, so it wasn’t long until he headed north with his new camera and started shooting.
The judges were impressed with Pastircak’s photography skills and two of his pictures – the Anglemyer and Ketchum barns – were selected to be included on the poster.
Love. Although each of the barns has its own unique history, the owners share a common bond – a love for barns.
“I know in the past year or two, some of you have moved to farms and the first thing you did was work on the barn,” Douglass told those attending the unveiling ceremony.
Brian and Holly Wolfe, owners of Glacier Hills Farm on King Road in Salem, Ohio, have a barn that was built around 1830.
“The feeling we get walking into the barn is the same feeling we get walking into the cathedral,” Brian said.
Anthony and Gloria Matthews’ barn, on state Route 172 in Lisbon, Ohio, was built in 1917 and bears the message, “Every day is earth day to a farmer.”
The farm, Hillcroft Farm, has been in Gloria’s family since 1918.
“Whenever I walk through that barn I know … it’s been in our family its whole life,” she said.
Courtnee and Kevin Hein own Hein Farm on Rochester Road in Minerva. The barn was built in 1870, but later burned. It was rebuilt and the current barn sits on the original foundation.
The Heins have worked to bring their barn back to life.
“My husband believes a barn dies when there’s nothing in it,” Courtnee said.
James and Marylyn Anglemyer’s barn was built in 1912. All the timber to construct it came from trees on the farm and like many other barns featured on the poster, it was often a site for fall harvest parties and church picnics.
Future. Douglass hopes to eventually take the century barn poster project a step further and document the stories behind each barn. She also hopes to do a complete barn inventory of Columbiana County’s barns with Friends of Ohio Barns.
A countywide quilt barn project is another event Douglass would like to see take place.
“That’s the hope of where this project might go in several years,” Douglass said.
The posters cost $6 each and, according to Darling, the project will raise $12,000 if every poster printed is sold.
“By getting product scattered throughout the county, we hope to create a real buzz about the need of 4-H,” he said.
(Reporter Janelle Skrinjar welcomes feedback by phone at 800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
STAY INFORMED. SIGN UP!
Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!