First off, I had to empty the building. It was chockfull to the rafters with everything this farm could throw into it for a hundred years. Rusty rolls of barbed wire, all entangled with old hay, giant chunks of farm equipment (and everything weighed 700 pounds), buckets and buckets of old wagon parts and rusty nuts and bolts and broken tools, an entire closet full of tack harness, horse blinders, horse collars, horse shoes, all rusted. Old coal-weighing scales. And lots of sheep shit. Old, rotten bat guano. Dust and dirt.
So I got rid of what was obviously no good for anything, and the rest of the equipment and tack I moved over to the other barn. And then assessed what there was here, as far as the structure went. I pretty quickly realized that the shed attachment on the back and the tractor shed were so far gone there wasn’t any chance of saving them. So I ripped them off and salvaged what good barn timbers and wood there was, and hauled all the rest up to the field and had fires going for weeks at a time to get rid of it. So, essentially, I stripped this building down to the 24 X 48 original rectangle. And then started to stabilize that.
The first step was jacking it up off the foundation in the back end as much as I could, and digging footers for concrete block piers under the beams to get it back up to some semblance of level and plumb. And there were definitely fiascos involved, with four and five and six building jacks and screw jacks, and pushing with tractors, and running bolts through big giant beams and trying to tighten them back together, beatin’ the daylights out of it with sledgehammers and shims. All of which was done by hand because you couldn’t get any kind of equipment in under the barn to do any of this. So everything was done pretty much by me, but my dad helped and occasionally someone would come by, and more out of curiosity than anything, lend a hand. And eventually it got tightened up and started to come back together.
All stored below: