Back Home in Indiana and…. farm barns with their county road naming systems

It was late Summer when I went back home this year; back home to Indiana, and as usual I was looking forward to the trip for a variety of reasons: 

# 1, I’ll get to see and be with mom, my four sisters, my brother, nieces, nephews, and… my friends of “over the years”.

# 2 was a little special because of the probability to re-connect with many high school classmates — we were having THE reunion, the big ‘un, to celebrate 50 yrs since our graduation.  I was cranked, anticipating and lookin’ forward cause this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal (I’m thinking).

So in recap… I’m gonna be with family, re-live high school happenings, refresh memories of the places, times, and countryside for nearly a week but….  one of my most anticipated to-do’s of this trip was to find and photograph interesting farm barns.  Northern Indiana is rich, rich, rich with family farm barns.

My mom, bless her…. and my first cousin Clara (Clara is a Las Vegas resident and Indiana visitor this week)…  they’ve both riden many miles with me pursuing the next, what I call, “an interesting farm barn”.  To make the proverbial long story short… we found a few this time… and I’m posting pictures now…  (you gotta appreciate barns or this can get really boring — just saying).

Here goes….  photos, locations, and thoughts on the 8 or 9 barns I call “most interesting” of this trip.  All together I collected, I think 22 so-called “keepers”.  My present goal is to accumulate a thousand barn images… from all over America… am a little over half way there now.


Located west of Nappanee, N County Rd 1050W, on the east side, about a quarter mile south of Kosciosko Co. line.  That’s a mile and a quarter south of “the viaduct” and everyone local knows where that is.  This roof style is probably most common in Indiana and is called “Gable style”.



Gwin’s Corner {and I get a kick out of this memory cause it makes me think of Max Gwin, the nationally read, Nappanee cartoonist, popular when I was a kid); go west a mile and a half (you’ll be on  W CR 1350N – don’t you just love the Kosciosko Co road naming system. <grin>  The barn is on the road’s south side.  If you drive to N CR 950W you’ve gone 3/8th mile too far.  This is a Dutch Gambrel style roof.  Notice the little flares outward at the very bottom.



On of my favorite favorite farm barns, a classic design but with that big and unusual cupola (unusual for Northern Indiana and Amish Country).  I first photographed this barn about 5 years ago and was pleased to see it now be part of the Marshall County Quilt Barn Tour.  It’s on the southeast corner of Cedar Road and 3B.  Marshall County has a very different (from Kosciosko Co.) road naming scheme.  Here, again, the Gable style roof.



On north side of 8A Rd about a half mile east of King Rd, again in Marshall County.  This is 4, 5 miles northeast of Plymoth.  I enjoyed the classic shape, the empty hay wagon and the “1908” tiled into the roofing.  Here we have the English Gambrel style roof (no outward flare at the roof bottom).


This used to belong to Nappanee’s Dr Roose and family.  It’s on the south side of CR 52 and just west of the CR3 corner.  This is a mile north and a mile west of “the square” in Nappanee.  I’ve known this barn since childhood cause Mom’s dad and uncles had farms both east and west of here.  I was born in a farm house just a long mile away.  The farm apparently is home to an Old Order Amish family now.


This quilt barn sits on the Elkhart County Bonneyville Mills Park property.  That’s on County Rd 8 near the town of Bristol — east a couple miles.  This quilt barn tour thing s gaining momentum in many states as a way to draw attention to, and hopefully encourage the maintenance of these oft-unused and fragile past-generation farm barns.  The decaying barns to me are a sad casualty of our move away from family farming.  Again the English Gambrel style roof.  My dad used to call this a “hip roof”.


This barn raised my blood pressure with excitement.  I couldn’t believe the good fortune when we spotted it just a few minutes after leaving Bonneyville Mills Park.  Its on the west side of CR 131 and just south of CR 129.  This is Elkhart County with yet another method of road naming.  Here again is a Gable roof style.  I wonder why the row of windows, maybe vents, high on the side?   Makes me think it may’ve been used to house chickens at some time.


Am anxious to see the future of this barn.  It’s on the north side of State Rd 119 in Elkhart Co as you travel from Wakarusa toward Goshen.  I think it’s near CR 38 and on the site of a new farm implement/suppy business preparing to build.  The barn will be restored, I understand.  Watch for updates — it’ll be exciting for all you farm barn enthusiasts — assuming there are some.   Call me, email, tweet… whatever;  I’d love to know.



And this barn, also a stop on Marshall County’s Quilt Barn Tour is west of Quince Rd on CR 2B on south side (that’s just a few miles from Walkerton, way west of Bremen).  The quilt pattern is named “Blazing Star”.  I had allowed time on my drive back to Chicago’s Midway airport to look for this.  There are a number of very interesting barns in this wooded farm country and next time back I hope to capture more.  This barn again features the English Gambrel style.  I’m assuming the most common style, the Gable, to be the easiest and least expensive to build.

I grew up in Elkhart County and have always thought it’s road naming system to be the most easy to understand and to use.  The east-west roads all are assigned even numbers beginning with “2”on the north county side and the north-south roads have the odd numbers beginning with “1” on the west county side, progressing higher going eastward.  Our family farm was on the corner of County Rds 9 and 52 so it was simple in my mind to find us… we’re 4 miles east of the west county line (9 divided by 2) and 26 miles south of the north boundary (the same mathematics;  52 divided by 2).

I think it kinda cool… we’ve traveled 3 adjoining Indiana counties and each one has a distinctly DIFFERENT road naming system.  I think I’d get lost in Kosciosko County and in Marshall County I’d need to memorize a lot of tree names.  I just don’t understand.  To each his own I guess.

ps….  check this website page for more farm barn stuff…    and if you have any barn related info you think I might like… please, please, please turn me on to it.



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Rocky Raccoon and the Birdfeed Bucket…

Middle of the nite, 2am, our house guard,  Skooter the Llasa Apso,  woke us, barking frantically cause something was going on outside.  In the morning Carlene found the bird food can had the top removed and bird feed scattered across the patio.  The next nite I set the wild game camera and here’s what took place….   Rocky was back.    (just click on the first image then arrow to right)

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The Painted Hills

We… Carlene, the puppers, and I… visited these beyond-my-ability-to-describe-with-words hills in Central Oregon on a day late in May when the Spring thunderstorms were chasing west-to-east by the hour.

Fresh rains were washing the layered hillsides and painting their vivid color “to the max” —  the fast moving clouds and the sunshine changed backgrounds by the minute.  It was…  our lucky day.

The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument is comprised of three separate sites.  The Painted Hills is one (they call it a “unit”) and is located near the small town of Mitchell, Oregon which is approximately 230 miles south and east of Portland or 85 miles east and north of Bend, Oregon.  In my opinion it is much more than just “worth your while” to take a day trip to this country.  Take more than just a day, take many. 

Here is our attempt to describe this wonderful place with the cameras.  Just click on any image then arrow left or right.

Link to the National Park Service site for The Painted Hills unit.

For more geologic history of the John Day Fossil Beds Nat. Monument click here

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What To Do With Fuschia Blooms???

I love the look of Fuschia blooms –  I like how they seem so intricate, so dainty, so artistic, pretty and loaded with color.  But, I have a problem…

I’ve tried photographing and making pictures the past few years (we have many blooms) but can not ever seem to do them pictorial justice — not been able to capture the essence of the bloom as I see it live.  My photo bloom always gets lost in the plant and foliage, it seems to not ever stand up and out in the photo like it does live & in real life??  What is the problem??

So…. I’m going to resort to artificial means and isolate the intricate bloom and put it on non-plant backgrounds.  Maybe it’ll be interesting this way.   We’ll see.

Tell me what you think and …. I’ll explain how I put the textures and frames in behind and on top of the blooms to hopefully contrast and bring out the bloom’s amazing beauty.  Maybe this’ll be a step in the right direction.

2 fushiasFloating frameIMG_4917texture

fushia double

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To Share The Fourtner Covered Bridge (an Oregon gem)…

For those of us with interest in and about the covered bridges of Oregon the Fourtner Bridge on the north skirts of Grand Rhond may be the only one many have not seen in person.  All the other bridges… you can drive “up to” or through.  The Fourtner Bridge, built by “Doc” Fourtner and spouse, is on private property and out of view from the passing road.

My family and I were extremely fortunate a few years back, July of 2005 to be exact, when this bridge was the only of Oregon’s 51 registered sites I had not photographed and we stopped in at the property that used to be owned (and inhabited) by the Fourtner family.

The daughter of Doc Fourtner was at the farm that day and…. not occupied with urgency — she took us for a personal tour to the location and the bridge.  I am indebted to her. Mrs Margie Ellis.

Follow this series of photographs and I hope you get a certain sense of the bridge as it is now.  It’s a seldom seen gem in my opinion.

Mrs Ellis was most gracious with stories of her father and the bridge and you’ll see her in one of the photos on the long south ramp going to the cattle pasture in the rear fields.  A few years later I mailed to Mrs Ellis a framed copy of this photograph and she in return sent me a personal card of thanks and bridge history.


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North American Family Farms…

This gallery contains 29 photos.

ShareThis is the beginning a new image collection… an off-shoot of the farm barn thing that I’ve been doing for years.  It’s all “Farm Scenes”.         Here goes… Some Requirements are: Each image has to include a … Continue reading

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Come Photograph Some Northwest Vineyards With Me…

This gallery contains 16 photos.

ShareIts all about the light they say! That may be true but…  you need a multitude of other factors to converge, all in perfect timing, WITH that light. You check frequently to see if the vineyard colors are the shades … Continue reading

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Two Weeks To Open…

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ShareWe enjoy many roses in our gardens and the four bushes of pink by the stairway show their stuff all the Summer season. I’ve been wanting to set a tripod with camera next to a particular bud and take pictures … Continue reading

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Little Boy and a Pumpkin Shell

This gallery contains 9 photos.

ShareWe were lucky last weekend — Little Cameron was coming to visit.  He’s three and a half months now. (click on images to enlarge)   Grandmother Carlene got this “Cameron-in-the-pumpkin” idea earlier in the week and was making preparations the … Continue reading

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Sunrise, Sunset….

This gallery contains 11 photos.

ShareThere is an adage in photography (a steadfast truth to many camera snappers) that the only time to capture outdoor images is “during the magic hour” – that time within the sixty minutes after sunrise or the same time preceding … Continue reading

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