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Country Discussion Topics
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Question on old style farm buildings
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Brad in In    Posted 12-04-2001 at 12:43:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Every now and then I see some outbuildings that are elevated a foot or so off the ground; supported by stones. what were these buildings used for that the farmer went to the trouble to have the floor elevated?

rayinpa    Posted 12-09-2001 at 08:08:53       [Reply]  [Send Email]
with a related question, i've got an old two storey building behind the barn. always thought it was a chicken coop till an old timer came by who used to live here. he told me it was a sheep shack. the ceilings are, low(6 ft)and the second floor has a couple of inches of comcrete poured. any ideas on this?

TomH    Posted 12-04-2001 at 16:12:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sound like Chicken Coops to me. Had to put them on pilings to keep the wood from rotting and hopefully avoid termites. Today you use treated wood and make pole buildings.

rhudson    Posted 12-04-2001 at 14:35:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Read somewhere about the history of America's oldest standing buildings of wood. one of the things they had in common was that they were build on piles which allowed air circulation under it.

Dan G/Soganofla    Posted 12-04-2001 at 14:26:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sounds like a corn crib, to me. The floor would be elevated to keep it from rotting out, as well as to allow air circulation up through the floor boards. Some hay barns were done this way, too, though most had a dirt floor for the animals, with hay storage above. My Grandpa's barn was built on brick pilings, with a wood floor, and had hay storage on both levels. There were stalls built around 3 sides for the beasties, and all the hay racks in the stalls could be filled from inside the barn.

F14    Posted 12-04-2001 at 14:25:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
Also common for bird coops, be they chicken, turkey or whatever. Keeps the underside from getting damp and promoting fungal growths.

geo in MI    Posted 12-04-2001 at 13:14:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
The ones I can vaguely remember in Indiana as a kid were smaller sheds for corn, machinery storage, etc. A beam or hewn log was laid on the stones and a wooden floor was made across the beams. This kept the wood from rotting. Some barn additions were made this way, as attachments to a main barn, as I recall. I think the lack of electricity and the fact that there were no ready mix operations around the area had a lot to do with it--it was pretty backbreaking work to dig and pour footers using labor rather than ready-mix, like today, and the beams usually came from the woodlot right there on the farm. This was also a very common style of log house construction. When we moved to the farm near Alexandria in 1949, the oldest barn on the place had that kind of construction in some places. It was nearly rotted out by then, and a tornado eventually leveled it.

magpie    Posted 12-08-2001 at 12:16:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yeah kind of interesting. I had a house at one time built on timbers laid on top if stones, my neighbor who was very old said my house was old when she was little. I suppose if done right, could be good as a concrete foundation.

Jeff    Posted 12-05-2001 at 01:57:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The stones they dug out of the fields had to be used some where.stone walls ,foundations. It must have been a back breaking job. The men that use to build the foundations were some of the best.Half the builders now could'nt build walls as strait with cement.

OW - convict labor    Posted 12-05-2001 at 21:00:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
There are hundreds of miles of mortarless stone fences in Australia, still in good repair after a couple centuries. It seems convicts built more than stone cottages in the old days. Montana prisoners built their own first prison. Even now when the local court house leaks, the cops joke about arresting a good roofer. nothing like free labor! :)

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