Ann liked the fact that the lumber would be used, but letting the barn go pained her. She could see all the effort that went into the building’s construction. Details such as the markings on the hand-hewn beams were evidence of all the painstaking, backbreaking work.
“It hurt because at one time it was a beautiful building,” Ann said. “But Mother Nature takes its toll, I guess.”
No one knows for sure how many wood-framed and stone-foundation barns there were in Marathon County at the peak of the family farm era, or how quickly they are disappearing. But according to an agriculture census survey, in 2007 the county was home to 1,267 standing timber-framed barns built before 1960.