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Penelope
Dec 5, 2017

We Want to Sell our Old 1851 Barn Wood - ESTIMATES

16 comments

We need help with our barn. We have an 1851 barn on our property near Peru, Indiana. It is in bad shape. Has been for quite a while. I'm not sure if the family is interested in restoration. More likely there is interest to sell the amazing beautiful beams and wood to help with expenses of the main house on the same property which needs a new roof. I tried to send a message to info@indianabarns.org but no one answered me and time it is a wastin'! Can someone please help us?! Any leads?

Danielle Bachant-Bell
Dec 6, 2017

Penelope, IBF's primary goal is to save historic barns in place. While we also value houses and other historic buildings on a property, sacrificing a barn to pay for repairs to another building is counter to IBF's mission. An 1851 barn is a very rare, important agricuktural resource for Indiana and we'd like to be able to discuss all options with you. The next best option to rehabilitation in place is to connect barn owners who want to remove a barn with someone who wishes to relocate a historic barn to their property. That way the architecture and essential history of the barn can be preserved, as once a barn is dis-assembled and the parts and pieces sold off its history, story and architectural legacy is gone forever. Would you and other family members be open to an on-site, in person visit from an IBF member or two to discuss your needs and the barn's needs and options?

Penelope
Dec 6, 2017

Yes, this is what we want. Please email me directly at spiritunion@gmail.com to set up an appointment. We don't have expendable income so if a full grant is possible, this would be ideal. It is part of a historic homestead.

Danielle Bachant-Bell
Dec 10, 2017

I will connect with other IBF members to see who can meet with you. IBF is an all-volunteer organization with various folks in leadership roles throughout the state. And there are others who are closer to Peru than I am at 2 1/2 hours away.

Penelope
Dec 10, 2017

I met yesterday with Kyle Clifton who photographed the barn. We agreed that it was likely about a $40,000 job to fix it which is way more than the $5,000 which the matching grant can provide. Sadly that kind of restoration money is an impossibility for us. The best would be if someone wants a barn on their property and would like to move it there and supplement the remainder funding to fill in the holes. All in all the beams are largely intact. Holes in the roof and skin and rotted out floor in some places. Perhaps Kyle can share his photos with you. He's going to refer me to some folks who may be interested in claiming the wood for a decent price. Of coure we'd like to restore it. I simply don't see how it can be done without a historic barn-loving benefactor. Supposedly this homestead was built by president Andrew Jackson although he rarely lived here. Famous Indiana artist Bob Weaver lived here for many years and painted many paintings in the house. Kyle was surprised he had no idea it was here. We are open to meeting with IBF volunteers who can help or even who want to look. We are in the last year or so of it still standing. The weather is claiming it before my very eyes.

Tim Sheets
Dec 11, 2017

Hi Penelope, I am on the IBF board and work part time in Peru. I would love to see the barn. I will be in Peru tomorrow. Would it be possible for me to see the barn around 2:30?

Penelope
Dec 11, 2017

Sure. Call me today sometime to make arrangements 765-878-4950 (landline) or leave a text at 765-460-6309.

Danielle Bachant-Bell
Dec 11, 2017

Tim, I'm glad you've reached out to Penelope. Thank you. And I'm glad to know Kyle made a visit. Between Tim and Kyle visiting we can collectively get a better sense of the situation that can be shared with others.

Penelope, the IBF grant is intended to help with emergency repairs that may help stave off further decay until additional possibilities can be discussed, such as repairing a roof to prevent further water infiltration, which is the worst issue a barn can have. If the farm is as historic as you say, then there may be other avenues for assistance, such as a National Register of Historic Places nomination for the property that could open up tax credit possibilities that can aid rehabilitation of all the buildings. I look forward to more information from both Tim and Kyle.

Penelope
Dec 11, 2017

This is great news, Danielle, Thank you so much. That would greatly help us.

indianabarns
Dec 13, 2017

 

 

 

 

Would love to find a new home for this barn if restoring in place is out of the question, 1851 is pretty rare for this area. Especially with the history it has. Unfortunately it has a lot of damaged timbers already, so time is of the essence if we are to save this one.

Tim Sheets
Dec 13, 2017

Kyle, thanks for positing pictures. I'm going out to look at it next week. We may be interested in relocating it to our farm. Approximately what size is it?

indianabarns
Dec 13, 2017

I would guess 40x60 although I did not measure it. This is a very interesting barn, at first glance I would have said it was much newer than 1851 due to the fact that it has sawn joists in the basement instead of the hand hewn sleeper logs that we usually see in older barns. However, it is a king post barn instead of the typical queen posts that we usually see which to me indicates older. Also, this is the second barn that we've seen with sawn joists from that time period. The other is near Indianapolis and was built by a wealthy/influential man who was able to order in sawn lumber instead of having it hewn onsite. I would assume the same must be true of this one.

indianabarns
Dec 13, 2017

 

 

 

Penelope
Dec 13, 2017

Hello everyone! Kyle, thanks for posting these pictures. Tim, I look forward to showing it to you in person next week. If you'd be interested in relocating it to your property, this would be so wonderful! Let's all pray in the depth of our hearts for the best outcome for all involved. I know we have a treasure here. My heart ached as each year went by and the barn fell a little more. I felt so helpless. I was looking for an organization to help us and I think I found IBF in the nick of time. The President Andrew Jackson connection may be a tall tale because I can't find any tie with his family and the state of Indiana by doing a google search. However I can confirm that the famous Indiana painter Bob Weaver lived here for many years. He may have died on this property too. We shall see how the cookie crumbles in the next several weeks / months as far as the fate of this historic structure and we shall hope that nothing else crumbles in the meantime.

Danielle Bachant-Bell
Dec 13, 2017

Yes, Kyle, thank you for the photos. Despite issues with sheathing, it looks like its standing fairly true. But you would know better having been there. Obviously the one end is very exposed to the elements but what about the roof? Our grant committee discussed the hope that the grant funds might at least be able to help folks secure a barn from the weather, which as you know will buy any building allot more time.

 

Penelope, I would recommend as a first step toward exploring and discussing additional options that you contact Paul Hayden, the director of the Indiana Landmarks Northwest Field office, phayden@indianalandmarks.org. He is based in Wabash and the office covers several counties including Miami County. Paul would be a good resource to discuss the history of the overall property, help you assess building conditions and needs, and can discuss with you additional options to consider based on the needs of the property and your family's needs. Indiana Landmarks likes to be aware of threats to historic properties and to do what they can to assist. That said, please keep in mind that Paul won't be able to ride in and solve all the problems. But he can at least be a nearby resource possibly with ideas and avenues you aren't aware of or haven't thought about. One idea that again came up during the IBF Grant Committee discussions was that barn owners could also consider crowd funding as a means of helping restore a barn. A compelling story, important local or statewide history, or any number of factors could make for a successful campaign.

Penelope
Dec 20, 2017

Paul Hayden says:

Grants to restore private property are almost non-existent.   If you would like for me to stop by to do a building assessment,  would be glad to do so. We often get a request to look at older buildings to determine if there are problems or inappropriate changes. This request comes most commonly after a new owner has purchased a historic property and has little knowledge of its condition. Since you seem to be very aware of issues with your property, this might not be very useful. BTW, I am booked for most of this week and then will  be on vacation until Jan. 8th. Let me know if you would like for me to do a site visit after I return.

 

Happily, I have an appointment with Tim today to look at the barn. Fingers crossed that it finds a new loving home and we receive the funds of which we are in need.

 

<3

Danielle Bachant-Bell
Dec 20, 2017

Penelope,

Obviously Paul is correct when it comes to grants. But there are other options I had hoped he might be able to discuss with you, something that seems best done in person in learning your situation and needs. For instance, if a property qualifies for the National Register, Indiana Landmarks does have a grant program to help assist in paying the cost of hiring someone to complete it. Being listed then opens the door for tax credits. I also know that unless a property owner happens to be an architect, contrcator or otherwise experienced in building restoration and repair, the trained eye of someone like Paul or Duncan Campbell, myself or various others can help a property owner gather a true assessment of what requires immediate attention or what might not, and most importantly from Duncan's perspective, how a property owner can very, very often handle repairs for much less. Duncan rehabilitated his own 1850s barn with the help of a local contractor. perhaps he and Tim can connect after Tim's visit.

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