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Barn conference with county tour is April 27-29

Friends of Ohio Barns event will also include presentations

By KEVIN LYNCH Staff Writer Published: April 8, 2017 5:00 AM
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MILLERSBURG -- The Friends of Ohio Barns will be hosting a three-day Ohio Barn Conference in Holmes County, beginning Thursday, April 27, and running through Saturday, April 29.

The conference will visit several barns around the county.

"We have a very interesting variety of barns and homesteads to see, plus some firsts for our tour," said Pam Gray, president of Friends of Ohio Barns. "We will see our first stone end barn, a remarkable structure complete with double outshots."

The barn conference kicks off Thursday with a visit to the historic Stutzman Farm near Sugarcreek, south on County Road 114.

"That will be restricted seating," Gray said. "We usually only take about 25-30 people for that tour.

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"We're not only going to tour the Stutzman barn, we are also going to have a program on barn survey," she continued. That runs from 1 to 4 p.m. This is separate from the farm tour, which takes place on Friday and Saturday. The fee for the Stutzman barn tour and workshop is $20.

Friday starts at the Comfort Inn in Millersburg, where two tour buses (limit 110 people) will start at the Holmes County Fairgrounds (Shreiners barn), then visit Lang's on County Road 51, the County Home barn on state Route 83 and lunch at St. Peter's in Millersburg, before heading out to a stone end barn on County Road 601, then Sam Erb's working Amish farm, before ending up at Rusty Baker's Legends of Music Barn.

"There used to be three stone end barns in Ohio, but one of them burned," Gray said. "Our stops include Barb and Loren Lang's working dairy farm and a tour of an Amish working farm with a nice hewn Sweitzer barn (Swiss influence), and the County Home Barn, the official bicentennial barn in Holmes County," Gray said.

"The Shreiner barn, which was dismantled, repaired and moved to the new Holmes County Fairgrounds at Harvest Ridge, and Rusty Baker's Legends of Music Barn on County Road 58 near Clark, are both 'must see.'"

This year's tour includes a first-ever Scribe Rule barn, built without measurements. "Everything was up in the builder's head. He used a knotted rope and calipers to measure things," Gray said.

Gray explained how farms used to be as tall as they could store the hay, but when they were ready to put on a new roof, they would extend the posts upwards three to four feet, to add more storage area.

Saturday is a conference day at the Flying Ridge Hunt Club out near the airport. It will include a presentation by Mariangela Pfister, Technical Preservation Services head and deputy SHPO from the OhioHistory Connection, along with a hewing demonstration by John and Caleb Miller.

For more information, contact Gray at 740-263-1369 or visit www.friendsofohiobarns.org.

Reporter Kevin Lynch can be reached at 330-674-5676 or klynch@the-daily-record.com.


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