Friday, February 26, 2016

The Harms Barn

The mention in my last post of the Harms barn reminded me that I have a couple of photos of it.*

This first photo is undated.

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(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The barn stood across Ainsworth Road from the Harms farmhouse — in other words, on the south side of the road.

Hay was stored in the loft of this barn. Eldon Harms explained to me the laborious process by which hay, brought in from the fields on a wagon, was carried up to the loft:
You slid open those big doors at the center and drove your horses and wagon straight in. Once it was all inside, you unhitched your horses and brought them out through the small doors at right. Then you hitched them to a rope that ran up to a mechanism inside the top of the barn. The mechanism inside included a "fork" that moved up and down, and laterally along a track attached to the top beam of the barn. One person worked with that fork mechanism inside, while another handled the team outside. The inside person let the fork down into the load of hay on the wagon, then signaled to the person outside.

The outside person drove the horses forward toward the road (away from the barn). Their power lifted the "fork," now full of hay, upward. When it reached the top, a tripping mechanism caused it to move laterally, over the floor of the hayloft (still powered by the horses moving forward). When it reached the right spot, the inside person would make the fork stop and release its load of hay.

Then the horses had to retrace their steps backward, to bring the fork back across the loft and down to the wagon, where it would pick up another load of hay. Repeat until all of the hay had been transferred from the wagon to the hayloft.
Here's the second photo of the barn:

2016-2-26. 5a

"The Old Red Barn in 1937," reads the handwritten caption. Not much is different from the first photo except that the big side doors have been replaced or resurfaced. I think this photo is later than the first one (just on general appearances); it couldn't be earlier (not much earlier anyway), since the Harmses left the farm in 1938.

I also scanned the 1937 photo directly from the negative.

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No trace of the old barn remains.

*I don't know for certain that this is the barn damaged in the window storm in 1922, but the barn in these photos was on the Harms farm.

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