Barns have long been the heart and soul of Tennessee farms. With this collection of photographs come many heartfelt stories from Tennesseans about their ancestors, families and barns.
“Acres of farmland and their once essential barns continue to disappear from the landscape as time and development overtake them,” says editor Robin Conover.
“With this publication, we have documented some of the histories of various types and styles of Tennessee barns, possibly brought back some memories of a simpler rural lifestyle and may have helped to preserve some barns not yet lost.”
The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association (TECA) and its official publication, The Tennessee Magazine, created this coffee-table book with authors Caneta Skelley Hankins and Michael Thomas Gavin.
Hankins, assistant director of the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University, also directs the Tennessee Century Farms Program. Gavin is currently preservation specialist for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, which is administered by the Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University.
The authors explore various building methods and architectural types, comparing and contrasting their similarities and differences. They examine the relationship of barns to their traditional agricultural uses as shelters for animals, storage for crops and workspaces. The final sections provide photographs of barns used for advertisements and comparisons of barns used in past and present incarnations, describe some new and different uses and mention a few of the options available to owners to help them hold on to their barns. Finally, the authors take a look at barns whose futures are uncertain and end the tribute to barns with images of a few that no longer exist.
According to Trent Scott of the TECA, a barn owned by the Price brothers of Moore County is featured in the book.
The 152-page hardcover book is available from the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association at their website or by calling (800) 842-4029.