I found this website today. If you read my previous post about what I want to be when i grow up I mentioned Daniels Wood Land and a good model to work towards, albeit a bit large and diversified for my taste. I much prefer the work done at Heritage Antique Lumber, and in truth, I can see myself achieving a production model that more closely resembles these guys. They locate, acquire and deconstruct old barns in Michigan and reuse the lumber in creative construction projects such as kitchen cabinets, tables, flooring, and even pool tables.
All images from Heritage Antique Lumber.
Growing up and living in the finger lakes region of New York state, and with a farmer for a father, has taught me a lot about the importance of the old barns. My brother and I have spent a lot of time exploring old barns all over the region while my dad conducted business with the farm owners, and the most important thing I have learned from those experiences is that every barn is different, and every barn has a story. It is fascinating to walk through an old barn with my dad as he looks at every nail placement, every wear mark, every scrap of wood and retells the story of the purpose behind that piece. Just by looking at a few nails and some old beams he can work out the farmers typical day or how the barn was constructed, from where he hung his coat and hat and where he serviced his tractors to the process used to hewn the beams and maybe even where the wood came from. For all these reasons it pains me every time I see an old barn collapse onto itself after several years of disrepair. It would take weeks for a builder to even construct all the necessary members to begin building the structure, as every one had to be felled, (usually from the owner’s property) and hand formed to the right specifications, much different from having some laminated beams delivered from the big-box stores the next day. All those stories and unique character that has survived for hundreds of years simply gone, possible forever.
I have always had a passion for history, and an innate interest in lumber, salvaging old barn lumber to give them a second life after the barn has stopped being cared for seems like a fantastic way to combine those two interests. So next time you pass on old barn, thin of the first owner or builder and all the life and possibilities that lie within those old beams!
4645 County Road 1, Canandaigua
To fully catch up with our house visits, here is the most recent: This one is just a mile or so above the Eastern shore of Canandaigua lake, near the Deep Run neighborhood. My Mom has been mentioning this one to me for quite some time as it is very near the school she teaches at and surrounded by several family friends. When we finally managed to visit we took the initiative to “show ourselves around.” As a result I have no interior photos of the house, but a fairly good idea of the condition within. This property sits on 17-point-something acres, and is surrounded by farmland. There are two full-size, former production barns and a separate single-car garage. There are several full-grown, mature trees and a large open area that was tilled land under a previous owner. The house appears to have a central core area that was presumably constructed in 1921 (according to the inscription in the gable of the house) and a number of additional wings which were constructed afterward for additional square footage. According to the Ontario County Tax maps the house is approximately 2400 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.
View from the street, thanks to Google Street View
Concrete front porch
The year it was built?
Small deck off the assumed master bedroom
Back of the house
Pond and water feature behind house
Evidence of aesthetic gardens
The property is currently in desperate need of a brush mower and industrial strength round-up, but it is very apparent that at one point there were several quality gardens scattered around the home. The barns are in relatively good condition for their assumed age, (I have yet to secure any reliable information on this property through online sources) the only apparent damage is of the expected variety, caused by decades of strong winds on the broad face of the structure.
Interior of large barn
Scope of property, within rows of trees, looking south. via Bing Maps
Overall, I was very pleased with the condition of the property and especially the presence of the large barns, my curiosity was officially piqued. My concerns include a bright blue tarp stretched across the roof of one wing of the house, and the obvious fact that this property has been on the market for so long at such a rumored low price. You can be sure however, that once my wife and I are in a slightly better condition to approach the housing market with the proper mentality, we will be pursuing our interest in this home.