Barn Again #14930

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The Story

Here is a retired but restored dairy barn, surrounded by the Maryland farm fields. It’s in great shape with a still solid stone foundation. Many times, it’s simple rainwater alone that can take down a barn over time from a bad roof, and this one has had the roof and gutters recently redone. The wooden planking all around has been painted and shows some repair and replacement.

It’s good for a long time yet as are the small outbuildings that also have stone foundations. This old dairy barn was built to last, but as with all things, they need some repair and tending. Nowadays, it’s a farming showpiece and not used for farming or dairying. No silo remains here.

The barnyard area in front of the barn has just been cleared of any animal pens and fencing. You can see some of the land recently disturbed by heavy machinery. During the working years, cows would have been corralled here when not in the fields grazing or inside. The earthen ramp to the upper levels can be seen at the edge of the frame to the right.

Many well used doors for livestock line the lower level. They show smooth uneven wear from years of the milk cows going in and out.

This dairy barn also has very large hinged doors on the upper level for added ventilation. They’re outlined and easy to see. This isn’t typical of most barns. My guess is this farmer also grew some tobacco which is hung up to dry under cover after harvest.

Lots of louvers for ventilation cover this barn, probably more than average. Is that because of the tobacco side crop or fear of fire from stored hay for the cows? Spontaneous fire is a huge concern for anyone who works with or stores hay to feed animals.

All in all, this restored dairy barn was well thought out and designed to help a farmer in his work. As with many farms, everything is purpose-built. Just look, you’ll see it everywhere out in the farmland.

The other side of this barn has an interesting feature: a Maryland flag barn quilt painted on the side. It’s in this scenic color view as The Guardian #14916. It’s the towering silver maple tree on the other side of this view that gave that picture its name.

I chose to shoot this picture in infrared black and white to accent that high thin clouds of a fair-weather day in June which sets the building off nicely in the frame.

Location: outside Thurmont, Frederick County, Maryland. Picture and text © Andrew Dierks

 

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