Carolyn Linton’s first piece of furniture was built when she was fresh out of college.
She wanted a cabinet designed for the family TV that wouldn’t be all about the TV.
So she built a dry sink, designed to hold a bowl and pitcher before people had running water with cabinets underneath. She added more wooden furniture from her father’s barn, and people started to take notice.
After they told her they would pay for her designs, she decided to turn her craft into a business and founded the Green Meadow Barn Co. in 1998. She transforms old Missouri wood from barns and houses into de new parts.
From sturdy, wide tables designed for family dinners to small tables to perch next to a sofa, Linton manufactures a range of wooden furniture.
Although she always wanted to work with wood, her fascination with barns began when she was 10 years old. Two neighbors had old barns which fascinated her.
“I have always admired old houses. The way they did this with such precision and beauty is truly amazing,” she said. “I was always finding pieces of wood and putting them together.”
As someone who cherishes the story behind the wood, Linton takes great pride in every piece she makes.
She documents each piece she used for furniture by constructing a small box using the same wood. The lid has a painting attached, as well as a metal crest that displays the barn’s year of construction.
The shop where Linton works was the family barn in Chillicothe which she inherited after her father’s death in 2006. She moved the barn to the prairies near Fulton in 2015, and it became her workshop and bathroom. exposure.
Sixteen years ago, Linton dismantled the barn with the help of a few Amish men, put the parts on a trailer behind her truck and drove it 125 miles to a 30-acre property she had purchased near Fulton.
It took him a full year to clean and sand the wood and put it back together. Although she said the barn was still under construction, the shiny and sleek wooden interior makes it look brand new.
“It’s really not over yet,” she said. “There’s still a lot of finishing, and then I have to redo the front.”
Dismantling barns and repurposing them is an arduous process. Despite dismantling 20 barns, Linton said it was difficult to give a rough estimate of how long it would take to create a piece of furniture.
Finding the barn, dismantling it, moving and cleaning the wood are all part of the crafting process. Cleaning should take place during the summer so that the wood has enough time to dry before being stored.
But even with all that hard work, Linton said she hopes to pass on her knowledge and skills to a future generation.
“My desire is to let the barns live,” she said. “It’s the heart of everything I do… The legacy of those people who built these farms and the people who lived with them. It is important that these values continue.