Just the word itself is enough to start the mind down a path of nostalgia— “Memory Lane,” “Memories are Made of This,” “Oh, Remember when…?” What are the memories a barn evokes? Some are of a simpler time during childhood with games in and around a barn or hayloft. Maybe they might be of dreaded chores. But, whatever they are, they hold a precious place in our hearts of an earlier time. And, many of our barn-lovers have shared some of theirs with us.
Other memories might be more recent as the Appalachian Barn Alliance has created many new ones for the people we meet. They may be of a barn tour that our researcher/historian Taylor Barnhill led. Or, they may be of a reconstruction of their barn that was possible because of some advice provided by the ABA. Or, of the experiences at one of the many events sponsored by the ABA over the years.
This experience led to a structured “Barn Memories Project” which we were able to begin using funds from a grant from the Terrence L. Mills Fund for North and South Carolina of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (received in 2020). The first recording in the series is of Ross Young, Director of the Madison County Cooperative Extension Office. Ross is the person who brought together community members with the goal of finding a way to preserve the agricultural heritage of Madison County and the Southern Appalachian area. This group eventually became the non-profit Appalachian Barn Alliance. Ross talks about the importance of the memories preserved by the ABA (in addition to the barn documentation).
Those memories are identified by the person who submitted them with a date and are linked below:
- October 26, 2017: Elaine Ray Thomas’ Memory of her Dad’s Barn
- July 2020: Patti Grosh Family COVID-safe Barn Tour Experience
- January 2021 Newsletter: Jeannie Blethen’s “Barn Memories”
- February 2021 Newsletter: Cynthia McCabe’s “Tobacco Baskets–quest for the history”
- April 2021 Newsletter: Ethel Kirkpatrick’s story about “Tier Poles and Tobacco Barns”
Barn Memories Project Recordings:
Ross Young, the NC State Madison County Extension Director who is the person who gathered community members together in 2012 to brainstorm what would become the non-profit Appalachian Barn Alliance: “The Importance of the Heritage of the Barns & the ABA”, (YouTube link)
David Wyatt, long-time resident who also is a board member of the ABA and thus is very supportive of our work: “The Homeplace” (YouTube link)
Roy Waldroup who grew up in the Bluff Community of Madison County and is representative of the families whose farmsteads and barns are the heart of our mission to preserve this heritage for future generations.: “Growing up in the Bluff Community” (YouTube link)