Annual Ohio Barn Conference coming to Preble County


EATON — After a two year hiatus, the board and members of Friends of Ohio Barns (FOB) are inviting the public to attend the 21st Annual Barn Tour and Conference in Preble County, Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30. The three-day event begins with a covered bridge tour on Thursday (sold out).

On Friday is the popular barn tour which always fills up quickly as space is limited to only two busloads. As of last week, only nine seats were left.

The Saturday conference will be a full day of educational presentations, lunch, Barn of the Year awards, member meeting, and silent auction. Reservations can be made online only at

Since 2001, FOB has selected the “best of the best” historic barns from 20 Ohio counties to be showcased as a part of the annual meeting. This year’s barns are no exception and will provide an opportunity to view six of Preble County’s most unique and unusual timber framed barns.

“If you love to look at barns inside and out, you’re in luck,” FOB noted in a press release last week. “You will have a rare opportunity to view a variety of remarkable barns. Friday’s first stop features a gable to gambrel roof conversion in the first part of the 1900’s. Currently used for machine storage, it once was part of a Belgian draft horse breeding operation. Next up is a century farm with its own limestone quarry that provided the foundation for the house, spring house, sidewalks, and barn in addition to projects in the surrounding community. There are remains of two lime kilns on the property used to produce agricultural lime.

“After lunch at Lewisburg United Methodist Church, we will see the longest barn on the tour with the original part believed to have been built in 1817 featuring a mix of hewn and sash sawn braces. The fourth barn is estimated to be built around 1848-1849. Over 174 years it has housed cows, horses, and sheep. The fifth barn is said to be a part of the Underground Railroad. Rumors persist about a system of tunnels used to hide the slaves. The barn is an unique example of an early 1840’s timber frame barn. Look for a double swing beam, one on each side of the driveway. The final barn of the day features a limestone outshot, 8’ forebay and mortice and tenon doors.

“Saturday’s conference at Eagle’s Point in Eaton begins with registration at 8 a.m. followed by a welcome from FOB president Caleb Miller with an introduction from Mary Bullen. The keynote speaker, Steve Gordon, will present ‘Beech Woods and Barns of the Boulder Belt: Reading the Rural Landscape of Preble County.’ Next ‘The 18th Century Frontiersman’ Ben Anspaugh will present a living history demonstration. Then Doug Reed will speak about ‘Antecedents of the American Log House.’”

After lunch, the annual member meeting, and awards, FOB’s “Barn Detectives,” renown timber framer Rudy Christian and barn expert Dan Troth, will present their findings from Friday’s tour with a slide show and their “always entertaining banter.” Next Bill Reynolds will talk about “Rufus Putnam, Builder of Ohio.”

The final speaker of the day, Steve Simmons, will speak about Preble County’s covered bridges.

Friends of Ohio Barns is a 501c3 non-profit membership based organization created to promote awareness of the significance of Ohio’s historic barns through educational opportunities that bring together barn owners, barn lovers and folks who believe in the stewardship of Ohio barns.

Visit for more information and to register online for the XXI Friends Ohio Barn Conference. For more information, contact [email protected].

The covered bridges of Preble County will be a part of the activities for those attending the Friends of Ohio Barns conference which will be held in the county, April 28-30. covered bridges of Preble County will be a part of the activities for those attending the Friends of Ohio Barns conference which will be held in the county, April 28-30.
Event includes covered bridge tour

R-H Staff

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