Barnwood Salvage

The only original structure on our new property is a tobacco barn.  Old tobacco barns are a common site in rural NC.  They were vital for the air-curing process of the tobacco leaves. Typically the barns are approximately 16x16 feet and about a story and a half high.  The wood was commonly covered with green tar paper to preserve and insulate.  I have a thing for old barns, so this little gem captured my attention.   I often imagined the calloused hands that worked in this barn.
 Over the last year and a half, we have used it to store junk farm stuff.  While the wood is in great condition, the foundation is another story.  Each rain storm left the building a little less stable.  We made the decision to remove the wood while it was still in solid, usable pieces before the building fell down.
 This would be no small task, so we sent out a plea for some strong and able bodies.  Several dads, kids, and teens showed up to make it happen.
The kids.  I love how they all like each other.
The first task was to remove all of the green tar paper.  As the kids began, they were pulling off tiny pieces so I suggested we see who could pull the largest piece off.  Good, healthy competition.

Three of the four sides were covered in green tar paper. The "healthy" brown wood was covered.  The grey wood to the left was the only side exposed to the elements.
In addition to the tar paper, we had to remove fifty-eleven-million tacks.
And then 60 year old vines.

 I hated to see this little lean-to go, but it was barely hanging on by a few nails.

We were able to salvage the tin roof and the cedar poles of the lean-to.

After many hours of hard, hot labor we had salvaged a beautiful pile of barnwood.
Come back soon to find out how we repurposed this beautiful mess.


  1. I love old barns. :) Glad y'all could repurpose that beautiful wood. Look forward to seeing.

    I feel as if I haven't caught up with you lately. Life is just crazy for us all. Truly do miss you and hope to see you this summer. Love your "new place" here.

  2. Since I am going backwards on your blog I just saw it and love it. I was going to ask what state you are in but this post told me.


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