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This Old Barn


By Nancy Brannon
The barn on the farm where Glenda Brown and her family live is 110 years old. She’s lived on the property in west Tennessee for 30 years, and in fact, the existing barn on the property was what “sold” the property to her at first. She loves that barn, its character, its style, and its practical construction, especially for keeping cool in these hot summers. So, last summer she had the barn refurbished.

Brown and her husband had painted the barn red some time back, but later discovered that the beams supporting it were being destroyed by termites. Termites were also taking their toll on the wood underneath the tin that had been put on the sides. In fact, in some places the wood was so termite-eaten that is was not salvageable.

First, the foundation had to be replaced before any other renovation could be done. To do the rest of the work, Brown found James Owens of Arlington, Tennessee to do the restoration. “He did really good work,” she said. Owens is an independent trim carpenter. He’d never done a barn before, but he certainly wanted to give it a try. “He is nice, considerate, dependable,” Glenda said. “I’m very pleased with his work and I would recommend him.”

So the work of restoration started with replacing the foundation beams. Then, Owens took over and, as happens with older barns, one thing led to another – replacing the walls, replacing the flooring in the loft. He replaced all the outside walls, the stairway to the loft, and any other wood that termites had destroyed. The result now is a well-functioning barn with very high ceiling that keeps the stalls below cool in the hot summers, and a recreation room in the loft where the grandchildren can play.

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