After 10 years on the farm (2000), we took a true first look at our unique barn. We began to contemplate, and then opened up discussion among our visitors, ‘What should we do with the barn?’ Our visitors, almost unanimously, told us they wanted the barn to remain standing. Thus, we embarked on the journey of restoration.
We have received preliminary approval for the round barn to be placed on the National Registry for Historic Landmarks. Final approval will not occur until the full project is complete. We began renovation during the summer of 2001, with the help of nephews and a couple of Deerfield teens, by removing years and years of hay from the mow to find a rotted barn floor. The summer of 2002 marked removal of some pens in the ground level of the barn, replacement of all brace posts with solid oak 4×6 posts and placement of the oak plank floor in the haymow. The oak used is from trees Don cut and milled from the farm.
Barn projects for 2005 spring and summer involved adding outer beauty to the barn. We built rock gardens along both sides of the barn bridge and Don welded a unique rustic fence out of old metal fence posts to outline the outer rocks edge.
2006 was the year of searching and decision making. We toured more farms that year than all other years combined, in hopes of making the best possible decisions for our family, our farm and our business.
In November of 2006, we officially hired Craig Roost, Timber Framing and Barn Restoration Specialist, to tackle the task of restoring the round barn. The beginning of the excitement began when we pulled the pieces of the original cupola out of the silo and “assembled” them on the lawn to take measurements. During the silo diving, we also found the original fire scorched wood spire and enough unbroken pieces of cupola to make a special thank you tribute to Lewis Lendborg’s descendants for their very generous financial donation toward the cupola restoration. This tribute with the names of his descendants-Betty Nicka, Karyn Wood, hangs above the signature Lewis Lendborg wrote into the mortar when he signed the silo over 100 years ago.
From late spring through the summer of 2007, the roof was stripped (of its FIVE layers of shingles) and re-roofed. The project proved a larger undertaking than expected so with a wedding scheduled for September 1st we called in City and Country Roofing, LLC in late August, to assist in getting ‘er done. Thanks to the carpentry skills of Craig and City and Country Roofing’s modern day skills our centennial round barn is crowned with a roof and cupola as beautiful as it’s first.
When the work was done for the roof and cupola, Craig needed to remove the wood stave silo, which extended beyond the original limestone silo, in order to construct and support the cupola. Removing the wood stave allows sunlight to grace the interior of the barn. We decided to not return the wood to the silo but instead, in the spring of 2009, we used it and the wood from three other silos (two from Don’s home farm, and one other down the road) to create a beautiful dance floor. Get your dancing shoes!
2010 has been the year for the lower level of the barn.
We are approaching our last phase of the barn’s restoration-returning the barn’s exterior to wood (painted red of course!).
Plan your next event in the barn and know that your rent is playing a very significant role is preserving your ancestors’ agricultural legacy.