Thursday, March 3, 2011

Amos Hinshaw Barn. Randolph County, NC

Here is an unusual barn for North Carolina, not far from the NC Zoo.

A little background on how this barn came to be here in the rural area of the Piedmont of North Carolina:

During the Civil War, Thomas Hinshaw and his brother Jacob, and their brothers-in-law Cyrus and Nathan Barker, had all decided that the right thing for them to do as Quakers, given the war going on around them, was to simply stay at home, quietly carrying on their everyday work until forcedly conscripted into the Confederate Army.  Confederate soldiers came and tied them to gun carts and took them to the "Militia camp" near Buffalo Ford. The Confederate enlistment rolls show Thomas, age 31, and brother Jacob, age 28, were "enlisted" (forcedly) on Nov 3 1862 as privates in Company G, 52nd North Carolina Infantry. They were captured by Union forces at Gettysburg and transported to a farm in Indiana.

When Mary Hinshaw, Thomas' wife, and her cousin Elizabeth learned that their husbands were alive and in Indiana, they loaded some provisions and their four children, including Thomas's son, Amos, into a covered wagon and headed westward six hundred miles across the mountains in the early fall of 1864. 

The Indiana barns that influenced Amos were built by Swiss immigrants and had a wagon ramp leading to the second floor. This allowed hay wagons to drive in and deliver the hay to the storage area rather than the normal custom of hauling hay bales up to the second floor by block and tackle or, with families with strong-armed sons, throwing them up to be caught and stacked.

It no longer is a working barn or a working farm for that matter. But it does make for an interesting snapshot.

4 comments:

Dartford Warbler said...

An interesting story behind this fine old barn. I do hope that it is going to be preserved as part of the Civil War heritage. I am impressed by the ramp system for loading the hay onto the second floor. Most old hay barns in England are above the brick built stable blocks of large houses and farms, so relied on manpower or a pulley system to load them with hay for storage.

Anyes said...

I really enjoy those history snapshots you give us along your beautiful photographs. So interesting, Karen where do you find all the related information? online?

frayedattheedge said...

This is an amazing barn. Over here a lot of barns have been 'preserved' by being converted into houses.

Karen said...

DW: The Randolph Historic Society is attempting to fundraise so they can buy the barn and Evergreen Academy and restore them. But, you are talking a lot of money in an area that has been hard hit by the recession. It would be a shame if we lost them, like we've lost so many other old buildings.

Anyes: I find these either in books that I have about North Carolina, or searching on the Internet or, in this case, by following other local bloggers and getting ideas from what they have written. I am amazed about how much I *don't* know about this area even though I've lived here for more than 35 years.

Anne: Americans for the most part don't go in for barn conversions. A lot of old barns get torn down and then wood is recycled into new homes. We don't seem to want to preserve the old common buildings (like your 1000 y.o. church). For a lot of us (not me, however), newer is better.