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Guest Blogger: Julie Hamilton -Saving the Barn ‘On Willow Pond’

Julie Hamilton - On Willow Pond

By in Fan Blog on on Mar 31, 2016

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The challenges of saving a barn.
We are learning very quickly that saving a barn is not an easy task! My name is Julie Hamilton and my fiancée is David Werner. We have owned our property for 4 years. Located SW of historic river valley town Peterson, IA.  David and I have dreamed of saving our barn. We knew it would be a labor of love and a huge financial commitment. Now that our barn has a new purpose in our lives, we are more determined than ever. Our barn will become home base for our Barn Art Gallery and farm primitive/antique store.  “On Willow Pond Art and Antiques” follow along as we explore financial options, the actual reconstruction of our barn, and next gently adapting it to its new life as our art Gallery/Antique store.

 
I have been a barn lover since I was a child visiting my uncle’s farm in NW Iowa. I am not unique, most people who love barns can trace that love back to fond memories as a child. For myself, growing up in Iowa’s rich farm country and now as an adult, selling real estate for 11 years (specializing in acreages) I have become heartbroken for the barn. It is getting lost in the changing times. Owners having to choose between Land selling for $10,000 to $15,000 acre or a dilapidated barn needing tens of thousands in repairs. Unfortunately the decision comes easily to many.  The barn is not suitable for the large equipment. The size and ventilation inadequate for raising large livestock herds of today’s times. To explain why this is happening is because farms are growing larger. The need for a farmstead as a home base for their business changed. Acreages are now being sold to people looking for privacy or extra room for hobbies, or a place to garden. They are not going into farming as a way of life. They are not going to become cattlemen. Not one acreage I sold in 11 years was to a farmer.
This is the fate of too many barns (Photo by Julie Hamilton)

This is the fate of too many barns (Photo by Julie Hamilton)

We're determined to save our barn from a similar fate (Photo by Julie Hamilton)

We’re determined to save our barn from a similar fate (Photo by Julie Hamilton)

Nearly all new buyers looked at the old barn as a huge financial burden with no real use. There is an entire generation coming up, who has not had any cherished memories in the barn. Meaning the barn’s fan base is diminishing. The Barn’s demise will only increase, and more and more will fall. This is why we are determined… NOT OUR BARN! Our barn will have a new purpose in our lives, a gift to our grandchildren and a gift to all who visit On Willow Pond Art & Antiques. 
-Julie Hamilton
Visit us on Facebook here: On Willow Pond
Visit us on Etsy here: On Willow Pond Antiques & Salvage
**All Barn Art proceeds will be used to save our barn! We hope you will be a part of our journey**

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