We lost our old barn in a fire in 1998.
It was a timber frame building, built about 1800 as far as we could tell; from 12X12 Spruce timbers on the main bents and beams. It was around 80 x 100 and had 5 floors, the floors added in the 1950's for raising chickens. That was done with 1000's and 1000's of feet of 1 inch boards laid 3 thick, with a unique overlayment; sawdust cement.
Sawdust cement was something the University of Maine came up with in order for a remodeled old barn to have concrete floors for clean up, yet be light enough to be put on stick-built and timber framed barns. The sawdust was simply a replacement to the heavier rock aggragate typically put into concrete. Some say it would never last, but it did...for over 30 years of scraping with a garden tractor and a snowplow blade that was mounted on the front of an old Simplicity tractor that was driven up the floors via ramps! That was a dangerous undertaking...
At the time, it was the biggest chicken barn in this county, holding 75,000 broilers in its 5 floors, not counting the basement. That was heated to put in the potatoes that we raised up until 1988. It was unique in that it had a 3 hp elevator to lift grain to the top floors, or could be fed grain via gravity from the grain bin located in the attic.
The funny thing is, despite being the heart of the farm for many generations, not one photo exists of it today. It was so overlooked that no one ever thought to take a photo of it, I guess just assuming that such an integral fixture of our farm would always be here. In 1998 however it burned and despite the vast amount of wood the barn had, by morning only ash remained. Dry, decades old wood burns pretty fast and completely .
While I would love to build another barn to replace it; today sheer cost of building materials would prevent it and sadly this 10th generational farmer will be the last to ever remember its hay-day and its demise.
Rest in peace ole barn; you served us well for many, many generations.