Friday, February 3, 2012


Granddaddy Bob Ledford’s old barn fascinated me. My brother and I explored it and found many treasures. The musty smell of straw and animals burned your nostrils as you entered the dark building. Sometimes a rat darted from the shadows and started me.

The corncrib came first. It was located on the lower side of the barn. Granddaddy harvested the corn and piled it in a mound. I would shuck ears, toss them into the troughs. The horses stood in their stables and chewed grain from the corncobs.

When Ma Minnie’s bin got low on meal, Granddaddy and his sons took corn to the house and shelled it. He loaded his wagon with toe sacks of corn and took that to the mill to grind into cornmeal.

Granddaddy stored farm equipment—hoes, shovels, rakes, plows, harnesses, cross-cut saws, pitchforks—in the barn. He also kept seed, and feed there. His presence filled the old barn. That was his domain.

Striped barn cats slunk through the barn waiting for someone to milk the cow. My brother squirted milk toward the felines and actually hit their mouths. I never could learn to milk the cow. It’s a skill that comes naturally, or maybe I was not born a farmer.

The old barn has many memories. I cringe when I recall my cousin tore the barn down a few years ago and destroyed its history. I want to preserve the way of life that old barn represented. It’s a story about farming, family, and a simple time lost to modern society.

By: Brenda Kay Ledford


  1. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving your nice comment.

    This brought back memories of playing in the barns when I was little. We had a playhouse in the crib, climbed into the loft and played on the hay, then jumped to the ground! Both old barns are gone but I can still see them in my heart and mind.

  2. Brenda, I am happy to find your blog here. I love it. The photo essays are wonderful.
    Barns have always been dear to my heart, also. My sister and I spent many hours of childhood playing in our barn on the farm where I grew up.