This Old Barn

There is something about America’s old barns that keep me captivated. I don’t know if it is the old architecture, the real dimension lumber, the history, or the smells but I can’t resist exploring these old landmarks dotting the landscape.

It is amazing to me to think that 100+ years ago family and friends came together to build these important buildings, some times before the farm home was even built. Hand sawn, hand nailed, and without the advantage of cranes, telehandlers, and other modern equipment.


One of my favorite barns is the old “horse barn” at the farm where my mother was raised. Not only did countless animals take shelter in that big barn but it was an intergal part of the lives of 5 generations with the 6th generation just getting old enough to show interest. It has been in the family since it was first built so many years ago. A walk through that barn is like a step into the past, built by Irish immigrants with repairs and changes made throughout the course of time to suite the needs of the current generation of farmers. Today it stands tall, with new tin on the front and sides and mostly used for storage, and as a tribute to those who worked the ground before us.

Preseverving these old barns is as important to me as teaching our kids history in school. They all have their own unique story to tell. Some of those stories are of heartbreak and tragedy and some of pure joy. Not only do I urge you to go explore an old barn if given the chance but go talk to the oldest member of the family about it. You may learn more than you ever dreamt you would.


10 Farmall Facts


I recently read a list about some little known facts about John Deere. This had me thinking about a few facts about Farmall tractors. I couldn’t come up with much in the way of a list or anything so I did some research and came up with my own 10 facts about our beloved Farmall’s.

1. From 1924-1963 Farmalls were the largest selling row crop tractors.

2. Of all the Farmall models the Farmall Cub remained in production the longest, from 1947-1979.

3. The Farmall H & Super H is the number one selling row crop tractor of all time.
4. Farmall was originally a model name used by International Harvester when they entered the “All-Purpose” Tractor market. It was so successful that for years they used Farmall as a brand for their new line of tractors.

5. Farmalls were originally a bluish-grey color. It wasn’t until 1936 that the bright Farmall Red came to be. The reason behind this paint scheme was mostly due to marketing. Competitors were beginning to use bright colors to draw the eye of potential customers as well as to be easily identified from afar.

6. IH hired designer, Raymond Loewy, to give the new Letter Series tractors a “streamlined appearance”.

7. Many of the new Farmall 60 series tractors were recalled due to reports of mechanical breakdowns. These breakdowns were largely caused by the new, more powerful 6 cylinder engines mated to basically un-changed model M components. Obviously, competitors pounced upon this recall as an opportunity to draw customers away from the Farmall models.

8. The Fast Hitch was introduced by IH to compete with the 3 point hitch developed by Ferguson and used on Ford-Ferguson tractors. The Fast Hitch became an option on the Farmall Super C, 100, 200, 300, 400 tractors as well as some later models but was later abandoned when the 3-point became adopted by all manufacturers.

9. The Farmall Works plant first opened in Rock Island, Illinois in 1926 and was closed in 1985

10. IH officially dropped the Farmall name in 1973, however some tractors produced in 1974 and 1975 still sported the Farmall badge as the factories used up the rest of their supply of the name plates. Case IH has recently resurrected the Farmall name in its line of compact tractors.