In the previous post, we looked at the remains of an early twentieth century farm house. Today we’ll take a look at the role that concrete played on this farm: a barn, stock tank and cistern – all made from it. Bonus feature: a windmill tower made of scrap metal!
The barn has walls of poured concrete which took advantage of the site’s sloping terrain. The in-hill construction, or natural berm, makes it hard to see the now roofless structure.
Remains of the sides of the former gambrel roof lean against the front. The farm house we just toured can be seen in the distance.
Concrete wing walls retain soil at each side of the barn. When the roof was present, it created a hay loft which was accessible from the side (gable end).
Hopper-style windows at grade level brought light into the earth-sheltered interior. Boards serve as shutters to close them; they were not fitted with glass. Since the collapse of the roof, daylight now filters in between the floor joists of the former hay loft. I’m not sure what the little square hole between the windows was for… there is a similar one on the opposite wall. Any ideas?
Poles set into the earth carry the weight of the structure above and serve as anchors for the horse stalls.
Though modest, the stalls express an effort at beautiful design; the builder took a small but delightful step beyond pure utility.
It is evident that the formwork for the concrete was built of 2 x 6s placed horizontally. The wavy line shows the demarcation between the first and second pours of concrete. Another window, but this one is shuttered from the exterior. And another small, square, mystery hole. What is it?!
Now open to the sky, these stalls are deteriorating more rapidly.
A barn door still hangs from its track.
This truss once gave shape to the upper and lower slopes of the gambrel roof.
The barn from a slight distance showing the remains of the roof on the ground behind it.
Nearby, a galvanized stock tank and an earlier stock tank made of concrete rest adjacent to a windmill.
The windmill has received some attention in recent years; its tail was made at some point after 1986.
Surprise! Up close it becomes obvious that the windmill tower was made of old car frames and scrap metal! Someone put a lot of effort into creating this. The uppermost section appears to be manufactured, however.
Nearby, at a slightly higher elevation, a concrete cistern is barely visible above the ground. I wonder how many gallons it once held?
The original stock tank has been re-purposed as a firewood collection receptacle. The imprints of the vertical boards used to create the form for this tank are still visible. It could be re-lined and used again.
That’s it – thanks for coming along! Any insight as to the purpose of the square holes at the top of the barn walls would be greatly appreciated!