by Texas Homesteader ~
I love our old barn. As a matter of fact it’s the main reason we decided this was the place RancherMan & I wanted to settle in and start our new Homesteading life.
We looked at many pieces of property. And there were beautiful places for sale that’s for sure.
But as RancherMan & I stood there at the cobbled-together gate and gazed over the overgrown and neglected landscape, we envisioned how wonderful our lives could be living here.
And then I saw that old barn. That old, tattered barn. And I fell in love with it. We had a contractor repair the warn & missing skin in sections of the barn. But we asked him to leave the inside – the gorgeous original barn building’s inside – completely intact.
Many people have asked about the beautiful old barn so c’mon in – join me for a tour!
Old 1880’s Barn In Disrepair
The photo below is what our poor barn looked like when we first purchased the property years ago. And even in that tattered state, I was smitten.
That old barn had been neglected for decades. Storms had battered limbs into the sides of the barn. Many boards were missing and some of that framing was exposed and deteriorating too.
But we knew we had to do something to save that gorgeous piece of history.
Although the outside was crumbling, thankfully the inside was solid. We hired a contractor to come strip away the exterior boards, repair parts of the framework and replace the exterior wood boards with similarly-styled lumber.
To keep the patina I love we allowed the boards to age for 1 year before we sealed them to protect them from the elements.
1880’s Barn Layout
The front of our barn is the main entrance. It’s roughly divided into 3 parts – the open manger / roost area on the right, the main runway in the middle with separate storage rooms and livestock pens along each side, and a full-length storage area on the right.
The hayloft doors at the top allowed for bringing up or dropping down hay from the 2nd floor hay storage area.
A manger area is built on the right side of the barn. We opened it up & exposed the posts by removing the old rusted tin and rotting boards that were nailed to the sides.
I like it much better this way and the cows use it as a loafing area.
In this manger area attached to the side of the barn is a place that must have been a feed area. A small piece of metal was framed in right next to the door leading into the barn. I’m assuming that’s where the farmer dropped the feed for any animals penned here.
There are also 3 holes cut roughly from the 2nd floor hay storage area into this manger area. I’m guessing they were used to drop hay for feeding the animals penned in the manger.
The chicken coop is built at the back end of the manger area. A little door has old steps that lead up to it.
There’s also a full-sized entry door on the side of the coop that allows entrance to the area for collecting eggs or cleaning out the coop.
We currently have our plate too full raising cattle to be able to raise chickens just yet. But I’m hoping to use this coop some day.
(UPDATE – we subsequently updated the interior of this coop to accommodate our free-range hens, you can read about it here –> https://texashomesteader.com/refurbishing-an-1880s-barn-coop/ )
Main Barn Runway
Now on to the middle section of the barn. The picture below is looking down the main middle run of the barn. I Love the detailing!
This room with semi-open walls on one side is interesting, although I have no idea what the purpose was for this small room. Maybe storage? Or maybe tack? But why would it only have a half wall? I have no idea.
In this shot you can also see the hayloft ladder going up to the second floor.
2nd Floor Hayloft
The photo below is the view looking into the hayloft area. You can see part of the massive roof structure from this angle.
In the middle of this runway ceiling is a huge hinged door directly on the hayloft floor. I’m assuming this is to bring the hay bales up to the hayloft from the wagons.
It’s also a great shot of the roof trusses. I love all of the barn swallow nests too.
In one of the rooms I found an old set of chains that still hang inside. I’m not sure how long they’ve hung here but they had been here quite a long time when we found them here years ago. We left them as we found them. I think it adds an old-time charm.
Looking to the right side of this main runway we see what must have been an animal pen that extended about half the length of this space with two smaller pens enclosed on each end.
I love all these old Bois D’Arc posts and have no doubt they came from this property so many years ago.
Here’s a view of the longer side pen.
There were some hand-made feeding mangers in this pen originally. But sadly they were way too far gone to save so we removed them.
And the photo below is one of the two small pens on either side of the long animal pen. Perhaps this is where the farmer stored his feed and supplies for animals penned in the longer pen.
There are a total of three of these old handmade doors that were used in this area.
They’re very heavy and I love them!
When we made repairs to the barn, we left the inside as untouched as we could. So these old heavy handmade doors remain. I love those old heavy hand-made doors and the baling-wire-latch system they used.
How do you like the place so far? Join me tomorrow to finish touring our old barn in our 1880’s Barn Tour – Part II!
Love Our 1880’s Barn? See More!
- Tour Our 1880’s Barn
- We Now Have TWO 1880’s Barns
- Refurbishing An Old Barn’s Chicken Coop
- Repurposing Old Barn Wood For Rustic Mirror
- Customized Reclaimed Barn Wood For Country Headboard
Thanks for joining us on this pictorial barn tour. Be sure to check out the other barn posts too!
Other Homesteading Posts
Old Homesteads/Past Lives
- Top 10 Homesteading Posts Each Year
- Easy Self-Sufficiency Steps You Can Take Now
- Why Bother With This Homesteading Thing??!
- How We Came To Our NE Texas Homestead
- Building Life With Our Own Two Hands
Animals, Chickens, Cows
- Easily Separating Cream From Raw Milk
- Teaching Free-Range Hens To Come HOME
- What I’ve Learned About Free-Range Eggs
- 3 Water-Catchment Systems We Use On The Homestead
- Soap Grows On TREES: Using Natural Soapberry Shampoo
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