I love barns. I think everyone should. So much of our heritage, livelihood, even sense of place, finds its origins in a barn.

Our oldest barn, the bank barn, was probably constructed in the 1880s. It would have been built before our house, which was built in 1889. Settlers and farmers routinely built their barns first – building them larger and often stronger than the house they built for themselves.

So this Saturday, June 9, from 10am-4pm, our barns are part of the 6th Annual Frederick County Landmarks Foundation’s Barnstormers Tour. This year the tour centers on Buckeystown, and our barns have been selected to be among the 9 farms-worth of buildings being showcased.

The bank barn’s heavy timber skeleton is exposed inside the structure, where you can see that no nails were used in its construction. Every joint is pegged. It’s truly a marvel of engineering.

As you drive through the countryside over the summer, take note of how many barns you see. They are disappearing fast, but can be saved.

Our dairy barn has seen the greatest changes over the years. After the cows, it was used for storage. When we bought the property, the appraiser told us that the barns were a detriment to its value. But a little vision, a lot of investment, time, and energy, and this barn has become the heart of Chartreuse & co.
Sad truth: everyone who owns property with these old barns on them is being told by appraisers and insurance agents that they are a problem and should be destroyed.

This spectacular ceiling is what we found when we opened up the second floor of the dairy barn. This space was designed (and used for 90 years) as a storage space for hay. It was never intended to be beautiful, and yet look at how extraordinary it is!  It still takes my breath away almost every time I come up the stairs.

Check out the Landmark Foundation’s site for details about the Barnstormers Tour, which will include docents at each of the 9 barns, explaining its history, functions, and construction.  Artists will be at each barn, depicting its beauty in original artwork created on site.  And the entire day will be capped off with refreshments and live music at Mayne’s Farm, where the artists renderings will be available for sale.

Tour admission is $15/person, under 16 is free.  There is no charge to get into Chartreuse & co’s barns.  Tickets will be on sale at Chartreuse & co.

Hope to see you this Saturday!

Thanks for reading,

Virginia