Help Save Our Barn

Campaign Created by: Leanne Chalker & Linda Methven
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The funds from this campaign will be received by Allen Fischer.

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Goal : $72,500

Raised : $165

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Located south of Jamestown, North Dakota, this barn is the icon of our family farm, and has been standing for well over 100 years.  It is used to provide shelter to cows and their calves from the cold and snow during stormy winter months and wet spring seasons.   The front and both sides have been restored, leaving the back of the barn and roof still in need of repair. 

This is an old red, rustic wooden barn with aging slats, just one of a few barns left with a hip-style roof, which is a more complex design than a gable roof.  It’s fairly large, measuring 56’ x 72’. 

Back in 1917, a cyclone hit the farm taking a side of this barn.  It then stood as a lean-to.  Our dad, Leo, along with the help of many family members, added on the existing structure in 1954 to make the barn what it is today.  It was Uncle Tony's idea to make a hip-style roof and our mom, Helen, designed the diamond pattern on the doors. Because of modifications, it does not qualify as a historical barn.

Over 20 years ago, my brother, Al, bought the home place and has been living there.  He has maintained all the buildings, but this barn has exhausted the remainder of his available funds.   In his younger days, Al tore down barns for extra income and farmed for a living. Regrettably, he fell one too many times and broke his back.  He has had three unsuccessful surgeries and lives with constant pain.  Al is restricted in his work of demolition, and raising cattle is his source of income. This barn helps house his livestock and store the hay during the winter.   It is his living, his livelihood and his home. 

Our concern is the severe weather elements, which North Dakota is known for.  A heavy snowfall and/or ice build-up will take this barn down.  Not only will he lose the barn, his cattle, people, and other animals inside or nearby will get injured or die.  We have witnessed this happening over the years to many small farms struggling to exist.  Time is of the essence.  When this magnificent barn falls down, it will be too late.

This barn holds nostalgic memories for my brother and our family.  Because of its unique beauty, it has been used as a background for wedding pictures.  It reminds us of our great farming heritage, which is disappearing with big corporations buying land and plowing down farm buildings.  We hold many memories playing and working in this barn:  milking cows, feeding calves and pigs, separating milk to make cream, building tunnels with the hay bales and swinging from a rope up in the hay loft.  Farming is a tradition in our family.  We share many stories of our life growing up on the farm.  Perhaps you recall similar traditions from your childhood.

Our hope and prayers are to raise funds which will replace the siding on the back of the barn and refurbish the roof to withstand the heavy load.  By doing so, we can protect future generations of calves and help my brother maintain his small, but family owned farm. 

Any contribution from you would be greatly appreciated.  Also, if you would kindly forward this to 2 - 3 of your friends, we will get enough money to make this historic barn strong and to its original glory.  Thank you.

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