Knox County Barn Tour spotlights historic barns, celebrates rural heritage

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Randall Barn

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — The Knox County Barn Tour will take place Sept. 13 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The five historic barns, one of which received the 2013 Barn of the Year Award from Friends of Ohio Barns, will be featured on a 25-mile drive-it-yourself tour, starting and ending in Mount Vernon.

Stops on the tour include: Gene and Jane Yarman, 16356 Wooster Road, Amity; Diane and Terry Randall, 8787 and 8981 Sparta Road, Fredericktown; Tom and Linda Bland, Hammersong Farm, 13775 Wade Road, Mount Vernon; John and Peggy Curtis, Round Hill Alpaca Farm, 508 North McKenzie Street, Mount Vernon.

Mini-barn raising

Several barn experts will be on hand at the Randall barn at 8981 Sparta Road.

Pam Gray, the Lady Barn Consultant and author, will be there to answer questions, and Friends of Ohio Barns member Paul Knoebel will have a quarter scale mini-barn raising with the help of children from the audience several times during the day.

The Knox County Agricultural Museum will have a display of antique agricultural implements from their collection at Round Hill Alpaca Farm. The Kokosing Valley Tractor Club will display antique tractors at Hammersong Farm, the Yarman Farm and the Round Hill Alpaca Farm.

Local beekeepers Jeff and Sarah Gabric will have a closed bee hive exhibit at Round Hill Farm to explain the highly organized life of bees.

Two Knox County garden clubs will be having garden garage sales during the tour. The Apple Valley Garden Club will be at the Yarman Barn, and the Town and County Garden Club at Randalls’ Farm at 8981 Sparta Road.

Art component

Art has always been a part of the Knox County Barn Tour  and plein-air painters will be working at all of the barns.

New this year, winners of an art contest will be featured at Hammersong Farm, where owner Tom Bland, metal artist, will also have his studio open for the day.

The Knox County Art League will be awarding a $100 cash prize to the best plein-air work, announced Sept. 19 at a reception for the competition winners and the plein-air works at Sips Coffee House from 6-9 p.m. All of these works will be on display at Sips for two weeks after the tour.

Refreshments will be available at all locations and at the Round Hill Alpaca Farm, Road Hog Willy’s will have barbecue dinners available. Restroom facilities are available at all the barns.

Many stops include entertainment, other exhibits and activities for children.

Popular tour

The Knox County Renaissance Foundation has produced a barn tour every two years since 2008, and no barns have been repeated. In 2012, approximately 600 people visited five barns.

There is no charge for this event which is held to celebrate the cultural heritage of Knox County. Any proceeds from the event however go to further the foundation’s mission and ongoing conservation of the historic IOOF Building at 112-114 South Main Street in Mount Vernon, the foundation home.

After-hours dance

There will be an ‘after the tour’ barn square dance at the Round Hill Alpaca Farm, featuring Wayne King and the Hoedowners from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

The dance is free but donations will be accepted to defray the tour’s general expenses of the tour.

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