Texas Barn Memories


There was a time when Texas had a distinct barns style, and that style was quite similar to the small portable barn pictured on this page. The layout was not for visual effect, each part had a specific purpose, in many cases it included a double loft. One side was often used for feeding cattle or horses, or in some cases, milking dairy cows, the other sometimes served as a poultry house or similar purposes. When was a child, I was lucky enough to have lived on 2 properties where 2 of these old cathedrals to agriculture from earlier days were present. One was a log structure with rough hewn, flat logs, and the other was a timber frame structure of similar design, well built and solid. One we used much as it had been used the century before, the other was left unused, and became my home away from home, and personal playground, and fueled a life long interest in construction techniques. As children we would take our western style cap pistols and reenact the old western movies and TV shows that were so popular during that era in and around them. A practice that seems to be frowned upon in today's more sophisticated culture. The western movie has all but disappeared from the screen these days, and these old barns have seen their better days, and at least one has been torn down to make way for a more sleek modern, and more practical model. As a preteen and teenager, barns began to have a slightly more practical symbolism. They were the places where we stacked the hay in the days before it was rolled and hauled by tractor and trailer. Thank heavens for mechanization, but it did take away the summer jobs of a lot of young men around the country used that few cents a bale they made by hauling and stacking for extra cash. Overall, it was an improvement for everyone. My most vivid memory of a barn during that period of my life was waking up in the hay loft with vomit all over me after having passed out from heat exhaustion. Not nearly as pleasant as the earlier childhood memories! There were pleasant memories from my older teen years that involved hay barns, but none that I can tell you about on this site. Let's just say that a gentleman doesn't kiss and tell. Barns play many important roles in the world of rural agriculture, and for that reason they are important to everyone. Everyone has to eat, and it is a good bet that a barn played at least a small part in the production of what you had for dinner!