Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mennonite Barn

Life in Christian County, Kentucky...

A new barn is being built on a Mennonite farm just south of Fairview, KY. I don't know the family who lives there, but I recognize the style of the buildings as typical to the Mennonites. Many local Mennonite farms have big, plain houses and large barns, very similar to those in the photo.

We have a large Mennonite population in the Pembroke, Fairview, and Honey Grove communities of eastern Christian County. In southern Christian County, many Amish families have settled. Amish buildings look very similar to Mennonite buildings, but they usually don't have any telephone or electric lines leading to them.

The gambrel roofline is favored by the Mennonites because it encloses the most space for the least amount of lumber. This barn's sidewalls are constructed of concrete blocks. The farmer probably did most of that by himself, but I am sure he had a barn-raising with a group of his friends, neighbors, and relatives to get the roof on. Probably the roof was put on in a single day, though there would have been details that had to be finished later.

This barn will probably be used as a dairy with a milking parlor on the ground floor and a haymow and feed storage area above. Often, Mennonite farmers will construct an earthen ramp that leads to large double doors in the second-floor haymow. They can back a tractor or truck up the ramp for easier loading and unloading.

Concrete silos like the ones in the photo are much favored by the Mennonites. The Mennonite farmers buy old silos that have fallen into disuse on other farms, tear them down, haul them home and reconstruct them.

Isaac took this photo today as we were coming home from church. He was on the right side of the car. He did a good job of getting the complete scene. It's not his fault that the sun isn't shining.

1 comment:

LittleOne said...

We have several Amish and Mennonite communities near us. I am fascinated by their lifestyle and would love to experience it for about a month. I took my mother to see a musical called "Plain and Fancy," a Broadway hit in the 1950s. This play compares Amish life with the rest of the world. After the play we ate a home-cooked meal in an Amish restaurant. It was a really pleasant afternoon.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.