Chartreuse Blog

Barn Recycling?
August 20, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Local Green Events | Tags:

Another piece of history gone?  Yes and no.  All across the land old farm sites are abandoned, falling into unsafe disrepair.  These were the dreams, lives, livelihood, and memories of the families that lived, loved, worked, and even sometimes died at these sites.   As you travel past these forlorn sentinels of days gone by do you ever think of those brave souls who selected a piece of land to create a life?  They built shelter for themselves and shelters for the livestock that helped to provide sustenance, while fields were prepared for planting. These people not only raised crops and livestock but also families.  Many of these families have left the land for one reason or another and now these once vibrant bustling farm sites are rapidly disappearing from our landscape.

The old farm buildings can not all be saved as many are falling down, past being saved.  However, a few have been given a new purpose.  The Spirit of the West Festival volunteers have salvaged re-useable lumber from several of these old farm buildings that were scheduled to be burned or un-ceremonially buried in a large hole.  It takes a lot of lumber to get enough to be re-sawn into the needed sizes.  The saved pieces have been given a new purpose.  The Spirit of the West Festival has over two hundred feet of building fronts that make up the appearance of an old west town.  The town includes a general store, telegraph office, train depot, jail, and saloon.  The town continues grow with a livery stable & blacksmith and a hotel in the works.  Thus far over 6,000 board feet of lumber has been used to enhance the ambience of the entertainment area where re-enactments of the old west are played out.    The old building fronts are a focal point at one of the several entertainment areas of the Festival.  The Festival also has a chuck wagon cook-off, Dutch oven cook off, other Festival foods, cowboy camp, singers, Wild West show, cowboy shooting competitions, kid’s games, and pony rides for the little ones.

When the Festival ends for the season the old barn board fronts are stored away to wait the next season as we continue the stewardship of our resources.  Prior to being stored they are given a protective coat of Cabot wood preservative so that they may continue this new useful purpose for many years to come.

Actors Robert Fuller, Peter Brown, and James Drury will be in attendance this year to sign autographs and answer questions about their movie and television careers.

Text Submitted by Bill Pattison
President, Spirit of the West Festival

To see barn recycling in action visit the festival September 18 – 20, 2009 located at 6200 N Kiwanis Avenue in Sioux Falls. More information may be seen at or by calling (605) 334-9202.

1 Comment so far
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Barn Recycling? .Thanks for nice post.I added to my twitter.

Comment by noactive

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