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Explore the hayloft, stalls, and hardware of a Montana barn and you will learn much about the state's farm and ranch traditions. Crib barns, with walls of timber stacked like Lincoln logs, show the influence of French-Canadian and Scandinavian immigrants. Gambrel-roofed barns, which shed heavy snowfall and provide roomy haylofts, tell of the long Montana winters that necessitated ample hay storage. Tack rooms, once filled with harnesses and gear, tell of workhorses given shelter in heavy-duty stalls nearby. Beyond their utilitarian functions, barns are simply beautiful. Some stand proudly, their freshly painted red lines contrasting sharply with the golden wheat in surrounding fields. But some, less fortunate, are falling into disrepair. Marked by rotting timbers and broken windowpanes, these crumbling buildings still have much to teach us. Historic Barns of Montanapresents the best, most unique, most significant, and most beautiful of these barns. Photographer Tom Ferris explored barns inside and out across Montana, snapping the hundreds of photographs in the book. Authors and architectural historians Chere Jiusto and Christine Brown help readers understand the significance of what they are looking at and tell the stories of individual barns. Historic Barns of Montanarecognizes these buildings as both useful and beautiful, encourages their preservation, and honors the ranch and farm families that built them.
Christine Brown is an architectural historian with over ten years of experience documenting and evaluating rural properties. As outreach and education director at Montana Preservation Alliance, she promotes the preservation of Montana’s historic buildings and places. Chere Jiusto has worked in the fields of Montana history and culture for over twenty years, most recently as the director of Montana Preservation Alliance. She is the author of Montana Mainstreets: A Guide to Historic Hamilton (Montana Historical Society Press). Tom Ferris maintains his own studio in Helena, Montana, but since 1995 has also worked as an archival photographer for the Montana Historical Society. Tom’s work is in many private collections in the United States and overseas and has been collected by the Ministry of Culture in France and the Shimada Museum in Japan.
Table of Contents
(1) Introduction: Montana Barns: A Vanishing History(2) Barn Building Traditions(3) Agricultural Settlement in Montana(4) Barns of the Western Valleys(5) Barns of the Great Divide(6) Barns of the Missouri River Country(7) Barns of the Yellowstone Basin(8) Preserving the Legacy