Red White And Blue #14922

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The Story

This image of a retired dairy barn is striking because of the strong patriotic colors of red and white topped by a strong blue summer sky. In recent years, this farm has gone over to keeping a few horses rather than a herd of cows. It still has interesting original features left over such as fancy louvered vents and a white concrete silo climbed by some acrobatic vines. The red paint is recent. Being latex, it peels away in sections of hanging strips giving a raggedy appearance rather than chipping off in flakes. A dairy barn was traditionally painted white or with red oxide paint, both of which faded away wonderfully well.

Built of cinder blocks, the milk house addition came long after the original barn was put up. The guy wanted a roof over his peculiar two door arrangement, so right over the louvered vent they went. Chances are the semi-rusty metal roof on the shed is original to that add-on construction as well. They last a very long time if kept painted and this one is due. Not surprisingly, a metal roof is favored in rural areas by practical farm people.

What appears to be a round window on the milk house door is actually a faded away hex sign. It’s a more modern one on masonite hung by a nail. I’ve seen round barns but never a round window in a barn.

I’m thinking the milk house was added to meet changing laws concerning milk production and transport over the years. You’ll still see them today beside any dairy barn, either active or inactive. I don’t know what equipment is kept in there or what it does, but I do know it helps keep the raw milk sanitary. The milk tanker trucks pull right up to these small outbuildings to load and the road is out of frame in the foreground here.

If there ever was a Fourth of July barn image, this is it.

Location: near Thurmont, Frederick County, Maryland. Image and text © Andrew Dierks

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