The old barn across the street from us is getting re-roofed. I’m not sure when this barn was built, but I think sometime in the early 1900’s, as part of the Cedargreen (then, “Cedergren”) family homestead. I believe their original late 1800’s homestead had a different wood barn, so I think this brick-bottomed, fancy one came later.

It appears to be quite a project, I think they’ve been at it a couple of weeks already. Oddly, the roof had metal covering the south side, but the north side still had its original cedar shingles, from what I could tell. I assume somebody could only afford to re-roof half of it, so did the most exposed side, some time ago.

These guys have stripped it down to the purlins on both sides. It looked like they replaced a lot of purlins on the north side (in the below photo, you can see the bright new wood compared to the darkened old stuff). So, perhaps that side didn’t fare so well, having been neglected for too long. The south side that was under metal looks better, and they haven’t spent nearly as much time on it.

These are sheets of 4×8 plywood going on over the top of the purlins. From a distance, it looks like they are slowly papering the surface with postage-stamp sized sheets. It gives a sense of scale to the barn, it is huge.

The workers are using a hydraulic lift quite a bit, but I’ve also seen people walking around up there, roped-in, of course. Oh my, I cannot imagine being so high up, on such a steep slope! Pretty impressive work. Looking at it also makes me think of its original carpenters, who hand-drove every last nail in that baby, working only from wooden ladders. Hard core!

Lucky for this barn that it has a steward who both cares enough, and can afford to, repair and re-roof such a behemoth. Kudos to our neighbor D- for investing in it. Many other old barns near us are not so lucky, and are in some stage of decay or collapse; like our original 1902 barn was, beyond saving. From what I understand, sometimes there is county grant funding available to help save important historic barns. But, I think unfortunately not enough people know this, and most find it too cost-prohibitive to re-roof these amazing giants from the county’s first European homesteaders. I’m glad to see this one has a chance at standing another hundred years, it is such a beautiful old gem.

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