While passing through Pennsylvania on our recent road trip, Mommyo, pointing: “Now that’s a decrepit old barn.”
The Six-Year-Old, enlightened: “Oh! So that’s what decrepit means!”
How can you tell the difference between a decrepit old barn and a ramshackle one?
Actually on our road trip, we saw quite a lot of decrepit old barns. Especially in Ohio, which clearly takes pride in the manner in which their decrepit old barns organically blend into the landscape.
After intense study of the decrepit old barn population between Chicago and Boston, I believe I can state with some authority that Ohio’s benign neglect of its decrepit old barns stands in stark contrast with the Amish areas of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s Amish country contains relatively few decrepit barns.
So few, relatively speaking, that it makes me wonder if the Amish have an official policy on old barn maintenance. “Your decrepit old barn can have this many missing boards, but no more,” says the Ordnung of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. That sort of thing. (I know. Probably not. Most likely the lack of true decrepitude among the barn population in Pennsylvania has more to do with the fact that barn raisings are good fun.)
Ohio, meanwhile, follows the Organic Reclamation Policy. When the old barn’s done, build a new one next to it, and let time, gravity, vegetation, or the odd windstorm take the old barn down for you.
Take a look at a few pictures from our trip and you’ll see what I mean. Ohio has clearly cornered the market on decrepit old barns.