Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

August 1, 2013

Aug. 4, 2013: Letters to the editor

Area’s early barns are disappearing

The large, picturesque barn on the Legg family farm, 1 mile north of Windfall, at what used to be known as Byron Legg Corner, is no more.

A landmark structure since 1903, the building was dismantled last spring, and this year all that remains are the stones of its basement foundation. It was taken down by barn expert Ed Walker of Frankton. And the tools he used to get it down? A 7-foot stepladder, a hammer, saw, crowbar and his truck!

Built by farmer and auctioneer W.C. Legg, the bank barn was a horse barn until 1929, when Byron Legg began a dairy operation there known as Hill-Crest Farm Dairy. At that time the silo that still stands was constructed behind the barn, and ventilators were placed on top of the roof to extend down into the basement and provide more air movement for the dairy herd. The cows were milked three times a day, but the dairy ceased operations with the death of Byron Legg in 1947.

In 1936 a farm seeds operation was established using the barn, and today the seed business continues as Legg Seeds in a modern facility on the other side of the farmhouse.

The barn measured 42 feet by 70 feet and was upwards of 50-feet high, the tallest barn Ed Walker has yet taken down. It took him six weeks starting in mid-April of last year to get the structure down to the stone foundation. He saved many of the sawn oak, elm and poplar beams. All of the wood used in the barn was obtained from standing timber on the farm. The slate roof was saved, as were many of the 58 windows positioned throughout the barn.

A hay track powered by an electric motor was salvaged, sans the motor. Lightning rods were kept, but metal stanchions in the basement and an early manure handling device consisting of metal buckets pushed along a track were not. Rocks that were heated and split to shape and used to build the basement walls will be sold to a Hamilton County landscaper. Some of the barn beams will go out to Kansas with a family relative to be made into guitars.

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