Moving a Barn in 1949: A Big Job

Moving a Barn in 1949: A Big Job

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Moving a barn is a very big job — especially if it happens to be the year 1949.

The big red barn here at Clucky Dickens Farm was built in 1918—we knew that much when we moved here in 2011. But we’d heard a rumor the barn was not built on our farm, but was instead hauled here many years ago in one piece from a property a couple miles away.

I didn’t quite believe it. I mean, how do you go about moving a barn in rural America in the 40s?

Then I was blessed with a book of old pictures from one of the gents who actually grew up on this farm.

Moving a Barn in 1949 - A Farmish Kind of Life

Moving a barn: it’s a hard job, and someone had to do it.

In February of 1949, when the ol’ dirt roads were good and frozen solid, Big Red was somehow loaded up on a truck to move to its new location.

Moving a barn in 1949 - A Farmish Kind of Life

Long, thick beams were stuck through the width of the barn and out the windows. Up she went…and down the road. Moving a barn was a slow process, especially when the truck had to try and make the corners of the road.

The truck that was carrying her actually had to be fixed at one point and so Big Red just hung out in the road (on the truck) for a couple days.

Moving a barn in 1949 - A Farmish Kind of Life

Apparently that was just fine and dandy in rural Minnesota in 1949.

Moving a barn: So glad she made it!

I’m glad she made it to her current spot. (These pictures show there used to be a second barn here. See it off to the right?)

Moving a barn in 1949 - A Farmish Kind of Life

The photo album I was given showed many pictures of moving the barn, but it also contained so many wonderful photos of the barn that used to be on the property, electric coming to the farm, changes to the homestead, his parents, even the original farmhouse.

Can you say best. farm-warming. present. ever?


It’s hard to describe the connection that is felt when you are handed a book of pictures that shows the black and white history of the place you now call home, by someone who called it home long ago.

But I can say this: when a gentleman stands in the yard of his childhood home and says to you, “Gosh, you remind me so much of my mom,”….

Moving a Barn in 1949 - A Farmish Kind of Life

…you know you’re in the right place. You’ve found the place you belong.

Moving a barn today is one thing. Moving a barn in 1949? A totally different story. Read the amazing story about how our barn ended up at our farm.

Are you a homesteader? Check out some of my favorite homesteading pieces.

7 Truths to Know Before You Start Homesteading

When You Get the Life You Wanted…

Why You are a Homestead Expert

Why You Should Sit With Your Chickens

Do you homeschool? So do we! Check out my book — The Homeschool Highway: How to Navigate Your Way Without Getting Carsick.

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