(first appeared in The Equiery’s April 2012 issue)
As many already know, Maryland has a rich agricultural history spanning all the way back to this country’s founding colonies. And with agriculture, comes barns. Tobacco barns, cattle barns, chicken barns, horse barns… barns to store tractors and tools, carriages and other equipment. And yet, as new technologies and innovations change the way modern agriculture is run, the barn remains.
There are very few places in this state where some sort of barn cannot be found. Historic structures litter the countryside and can even be found in some city parks. New barns are being built every day and others are being renovated to suit new needs.
Over the past several years, The Equiery has brought its readers stories of these barns. These stories have ranged from new ways to use an old barn, historic barns being salvaged and reconstructed in new locations, and new facilities being built around an owner’s individual vision. And although these stories often sound familiar, as though we have heard them a hundred times before, they never seem to get old. If Maryland barns could talk… just think about the stories they could tell!
Residence, Vet Clinic & Boarding Facility All In One
Fresh Meadows in Calvert County is home to Linda C. Molesworth, VMD and Bay Equine Service, Inc. Originally from New England, Dr. Molesworth never thought about building anything else but an all-in-one facility. “Convenient, no commute, small and less area to clean,” she said.
She bought the 47-acre farm in 1999 and at the time it had been farmed but had no building on it. What she built was a facility that serves as her home, office, an equine veterinary clinic and a boarding facility. The 10,000-square-foot barn was built in 2000 and houses 16 stalls, including two foaling stalls. There is also a pharmacy, office, bathroom, utility room, laundry room and loft. The attached 24*36-foot apartment has a great room, dining area, kitchen, master bedroom and full bath. And the facility has 92 solar panels on its roof, saving the farm considerable amounts of money in energy costs. And the best part of all… “It is a metal barn with great rain sounds on the metal roof,” Dr. Molesworth added.
Pictured top is an exterior shot of the whole barn facility complete with solar panels on the roof. The photo on the bottom right shows the veterinary clinic office.
Why Tear it Down?
When Len and Susan Ellis Dougherty decided to move out of downtown Baltimore, they found a property in Cockeysville that had recently been subdivided. The lot they chose included the original farmhouse built in 1870, an old red barn and a chicken house. The couple had the option to tear it all down but wanted to fix it up instead. The barn became a place to store wood for Leonard’s artwork furniture and a section was converted into an area for Susan Ellis to pot plants for her gardens. Eventually, they replaced the siding on the barn and the chicken shed became an art studio.
Pictured top is the snow covered barn in 2001 with its original red board siding. The siding of the barn was redone and part of the barn was converted into a potting barn (pictured bottom).
A Barn for Cats
This lovely little barn (pictured right) in Caroline County is home to the first two mousers in the Talbot Humane Barn Cats program. Besides housing a few horses, it acts as a temporary house for cats looking for new barn homes throughout the Eastern Shore.
The Beauty Inside
Although the exterior of a barn can be stunning and often the inside structures can be even more eye-catching, sometimes what goes on in the barn is where the real beauty lies. Located in Glen Arm, the barn at the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School might seem modest on the exterior, but the interior was specially designed to meet the unique needs of the therapeutic riding center. Founder Patty Wise said of the interior, “one finds a stable intentionally and handsomely designed to meet the needs of people challenged by disability.”
The barn is located on 12 acres adjacent to Gunpowder State Park and it is surrounded by farmland. The whole facility was built and landscaped to create an “atmosphere of serenity and calm. An encouraging atmosphere that enhances the interaction between the students and the special horses,” Patty added.
Pictured top right is the school barn at the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School. Bottom right is the main aisle, built extra wide with plenty of teaching space.