The Barn


The barn was a large building, one hundred twenty feet wide and one hundred forty feet deep. It was two stories tall in the center and tapered down to one story on each side.

The west side had five horse stalls. A stall for each horse, Molly, Dolly, Bill and Prince.and one stall for extra grain or equipment. There was walkway behind the horses and the harness for each horse hung behind the horses along the wall.

The center of the barn held the hay that fed both the horses and cows in the winter. The east side had fourteen stalls for the milk cows. The cows were milked each morning and evening. As each cow came into the barn each went to their own stalls. They knew where they belonged and they never missed. Dad did the milking when Al and Bill were young but as they grew older and the cow population increased, they got up before school to help with the milking.

There were always a couple of cats in the barn .The cats always stayed at the barn and did not stray very far. Their job was to keep the mouse and rat population down. They were given a bowl of milk each time the cows were milked and they caught enough mice to keep them fat and happy

The barn also served as a playground for the kids. We would climb up high in the rafters and jump down into the hay. I think this must have been dangerous because we were never allowed to do this alone. One of the siblings had to be with us.

In the thirties hitchhikers would come by in the evening and ask if they could sleep in the barn. Dad always said yes but they had to promise not to smoke while they were in the barn.

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