The old dairy barn


Posted: September 28th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: barns, history, life, yard | No Comments »


the old dairy barn

The old dairy barn finally seems to be coming down. It was on the way out when we bought the place in 2009 but it’s hung on surprisingly long, through a few hurricanes and a lot of wet heavy March snowstorms. Every time we get a big storm, we can’t wait to go check out the barn and see what’s fallen down. We’ve talked about having it demolished but we keep hoping Mother Nature will do the job for free. It’s a kind of picturesque wreck and I hold it no grudge (in 2011 we got married in the backyard with the collapsed dairy barn as backdrop), but it was always wayyyy too far gone to think about saving it. (Also we don’t have any cows or anything, though a big old barn in better condition could’ve been a great venue for movie screenings, barn dances, yoga classes…)
Based on old photos and some historical society documentation, we think the original barn burned in the 1930′s so this barn was probably the replacement for the old barn lost to fire. It was a dairy barn; the Brunk farm sold milk to the Locust Farm Dairy that used to be in Limington.

Locust Farm Dairy
evidence of the Locust Farm Dairy

A few years back, we found some neat cattle tags(?) buried in the yard next to the barn while doing some yard work.

found these buried in the yard.

Typical 20th century construction, the barn was huge but nowhere near as sturdily built as the older ell and house. Leaky roof and time and no maintenance is presumably what did it in. By the time the Brunk family sold the property by the early 1980′s, the farmers would’ve been aging and dairy farming in Maine was becoming increasingly unprofitable, so (like so many rural Maine dairy operations) it’s no surprise that they didn’t put too many resources into maintaining a dairy barn with a leaky roof. Since the 80′s it seems like the barn’s been mostly ignored and used for dumping junk. Day by day it’s sinking and slumping. We go out and check after every big storm and often we’re surprised that nothing has budged, despite howling winds and whipping rain and wet heavy snow, even when the yard is littered with tree limbs and debris, the barn holds up. But this week’s been peaceful and sunny and beautiful, and we just noticed that it’s gone down dramatically while we weren’t paying attention.
I wish we’d managed to set up a proper time lapse record of the changes, but we’re not so organized.

backyard  view from the 2nd floor

a handsome barn

this is the barn when we first arrived in March 2010.

photo of the barn inside the ruined barn

left: found photo of the barn (1960′s?). right: inside the barn, 2010.

our new dumpster!!!

front of barn. 2010

fall barn

fall 2010

snow

2011

barn fell down a bit more

Feb 2013

the old dairy barn

spring 2013

barn falling down

Sept 2013

And here’s the back.

dogs, barn, Judy
March 2010

the barn before the hurricane

August 2011 (before Hurricane Irene)

the barn, after the hurricane

the barn, after the hurricane

August 2011, after hurricane Irene

the old dairy barn

the old dairy barn

Sept. 2013

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