Sunday, September 16, 2001

Barn a marker for Ohio birthday


71st building is chosen for Bicentennial logo

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WILLIAMSBURG — In the gloaming, the barn suggests an Andrew Wyeth landscape; milk-white, freshly painted late last week, it fairly glows atop a hill overlooking Ohio 32, rising above a field of soybeans.

        It will catch the eye of motorists, especially those heading west on 32. That was one of the reasons it was chosen.

        “It definitely has a lot of character,” says Lucy Snell, who with her husband, Charles, owns the barn and the rolling acreage it sits on. “We've taken care of it.”

        Monday, Scott Hagan went to work on the Clermont County barn; the Ohio Bicentennial logo began to take form. By Tuesday, even as the horror of terrorist attacks grabbed the nation's attention, the red, white and blue logo was finished.

        The Snells' barn became the 71st barn in Ohio to display the Ohio Bicentennial logo, a project of the Ohio Bicentennial Commission to have one barn in each of Ohio's 88 counties to display the logo.
       

Agricultural history honored

        The project pays homage to the state's agricultural history, just as the commission's bicentennial bell project — being done by Cincinnati's Verdin Co. — salutes Ohio's industrial contributions. The barn logos alert people that Ohio is celebrating its 200th birthday in 2003.

        The Snell barn is the last to be painted this year. The final 17 barns will be painted next year, including one in Hamilton County, the only Southwest Ohio county that is yet to have a barn adorned with the logo.

        Lee Yoakum, a spokesman for the commission, said they have about a dozen candidates in Hamilton County.

        The Butler County barn, located in Oxford on Oxford-Trenton Road, was done in 1999. The barn in Warren County, on Ohio 48 in Lebanon, also was painted in 1999. Adams County's barn, on Ohio 136 in West Union, was completed in 2000; in Brown County, a barn on Stephenson Road in Ripley was done this year.

        A white or red barn is preferred because the logo shows up better. Wood is preferred because it holds the paint, not to mention that natural wood barns are vanishing from the country's landscape.

        “Maybe this will help with the preservation of natural wood barns,” said Mr. Yoakum.
       

Local character

        The Snell barn was built in 1939. In its 62 years it has had just two owners. The Snells have owned it the past eight years. It is 60 by 40 feet, about 25 feet high. It is used to dry tobacco. Mr. Snell, whose farm grows tobacco, corn, hay and soybeans, as well as cattle, says the barn can hold 3 1/2 acres' worth of tobacco.

        The barn was built almost entirely of material from local manufacturers. Mrs. Snell has the receipts. A lumber company in Mount Orab in Brown County, a hardware firm in Williamsburg.

        When Rick Crawford, local historian with the Clermont County Historical Society, saw it, he was immediately taken with its location and character.

        “I said, "There's our bicentennial barn,”' said Mr. Crawford.

       



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