The Rebirth of a Barn — Outbuilding gets a Touch of the Amish
Asking around, the couple found no solid history for the barn. They knew from the old basement that it had housed potatoes at one point. Mr. Mezynieski said it had been used as cold storage for the crop and to store farming equipment.
Hoping that the barn’s timber peg design could be preserved in the reconstruction and revitalization, the
Mezynieskis turned to the Amish. While traveling in Pennsylvania, Mr. Mezynieski said, they saw Amish builders working with the timber peg method. They decided to find Amish builders to work on their barn. “I wanted to restore the barn to its historic state,” he said.
The Mezynieskis located their builders through word of mouth, as the company doesn’t advertise. The Amish owners met with the couple, saw the project and decided they were interested.
“It’s really amazing how they did it,” Mr. Mezynieski stated. “It’s absolutely incredible.”
The workers took the structure down to its original frame, removing all the rotten beams and wood. The rebuilt barn features exposed beams and natural batten board cedar. Large wooden logs made in Pennsylvania are held together with wooden pegs to re-create the original timber peg design. No nails were used in the construction.
The barn, now almost complete, had been in bad shape before the renovations began. “The roof was falling down; trees were growing inside of it. It was falling in on itself,” Mr. Mezynieski said, noting the project had begun just three weeks ago.
Sadly, according to Ms. Mezynieski, reconstruction was interrupted when the Amish workers had to return to Pennsylvania for the funerals of the children killed in the Oct. 2 shooting at West Nickel Mines Amish School.
Born and raised in Wainscott, Mr. Mezynieski grew up farming and said he also wants his children to grow up on a working farm. He was unable to find a farm to buy on the South Fork and rather than move out of state, the North Fork was the next logical place to try. “I love it,” he said. “I’m looking forward to having a farm on the North Fork.” The handmade barn will be used to house horses and farm equipment.
By Ashley Macomb