End of Summer 2014

Now that it’s official–what the locals call “Neil’s barn” is now “Barnhaven”– I thought I’d share some observations as our first guests came to experience my neck of the woods.  Our first group was two couples rendezvous-ing somewhere in the middle between Detroit and NYC. That would be, apparently, my barn. Who knew that this type of scenario would repeat itself over the summer?

Once they landed, they just unplugged, stayed put and hung out, cooked up a storm, played board games, got all caught up with their lives, and left us our first glowing testimonial (plus a few welcome suggestions–we are newbies at this!) They never felt the need to leave Barnhaven to experience the nearby Mountain Inn’s “Karaoke Saturday” or trek out over the gorge at Kinzua Bridge. Maybe next time!

A “slight” plumbing issue that could have been a fiasco, just hours upon their arrival, was averted due to some nimble footwork and a few choice descriptive words to lubricate the situation while finding my tool belt and turn-off valve, as a pipe gushed over the freshly scrubbed kitchen. Did I mention that I was in the upstairs shower when this occurred? And that Sharon was in the kitchen doing her Martha Stewart-ing? We found out how we operate under pressure. Fortitude, if not exactly grace.

So, the summer unfolded with more arriving couples and families that just wanna have fun with frisbee, Scrabble, chatting, relaxing, and cooking their own meals in our big kitchen that is stocked with almost every pot and appliance you’d ever need. The nearby Allegheny National Forest was there for hiking, and the ones who wanted to curl up with a book were not disappointed.

In late August, in-between guests, Sharon and I went to the Crook Farm Fair in Bradford and enjoyed surveying the local crafts and demonstrations. We especially took a shine to the father-son team that makes hand-crafted brooms as you watch, following in the grandfather’s footsteps. Here is one hanging in our kitchen.


If you want to order or have any inquiries about this really nice product, contact:

Preston and Sons Broom Makers at 814.598.7082 or 814.368.8939 (& mention Barnhaven sent you!)


And here are some more images that sum up this summer at Barnhaven. Enjoy!


a refurbished, reclaimed relic of summers past — croquet!


path leading from the front door into the woods & fields


when snail-mail was an art

sumac & stool

who knew sumac could liven up a centerpiece?

entrance to bay

C’mon in and stay a while.

We have our first wedding event scheduled in October, right here in the center bay. We’re very excited to be chosen for this special occasion!

We are also now in our second year as a member of the ANF, and were pleased to be highlighted in their recent Fall newsletter as a place to stay. So…c’mon and do some leaf-peeping before winter settles in!


About neilsbarn

I live in a barn.
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4 Responses to End of Summer 2014

  1. Neil, it sounds like things are moving along real well with a few bumps along the way. Your Barn is a wonderful place to go and relax and enjoy Mother nature. You are so lucky to have a wonderful place to rent out. I can imagine it is a lot of work but also a lot of satisfaction too.

    Take care and take time to smell the roses and sit and watch the deer.


  2. Bev says:

    Incredible renovation of this barn that is located in beautiful, peaceful natural surroundings. Highly recommend!!! Read, relax, hike, cook, play games, disconnect and rejuvenate here. Love, love, love Barnhaven!!!

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