Why do we love old barns? It’s hard to say. They stand stubbornly anchored to the earth, roofs sagging, timber falling, paint peeling. Maybe they remind of us our rural roots… maybe we are nostalgic for a way of life that is steadily slipping away.
And there are plenty of barns around to take a picture of. According to a 2007 survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Missouri ranks second only to Texas in the number of barns built before 1960 — about 36,000.
Here’s the list of a few resources dedicated to their preservation.
- The Missouri Barn Alliance and Rural Network (Mo BARN) – A nonprofit group for the preservation, documentation, and re-use of historic barns and farmsteads in our state.
- Missouri State Historic Preservation Office – Part of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, partnering with Mo BARN to collect information about Missouri historic barns and farmsteads still in existence.
- Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation – Missouri’s statewide grassroots preservation network.
- National Barn Alliance – Nationwide nonprofit organization coordinating preservation efforts to save historic barns.
- Old Barns, Mills, Buildings, and Structures of Missouri – A Facebook Group started by Mark Karpinski, whose Mark Karpinski Signature Photography gallery in Branson features Ozark and Western landscape photography. The group, which is open to anyone, is devoted to the historical beauty of old rural Missouri structures, and has posted many photos of Missouri barns.