Our Pennsylvania bank barn is a good example of the region’s “standard,” built with stone ends, a collar structure loft, and an earthen ramp or “bank” that leads to the main floor.
Wagons used to pull up to unload the harvest here, which was then stacked to dry, thanks to the long, tall slits in the walls. These allowed air to pass through, but were small enough to exclude most larger wild predators. They also served, if necessary, as rifle battlements in the event of Indian attacks.
This venerable denizen of our fields beckons you to immerse yourself in the sensory charm of a bygone era:
We realize that for some folks, relaxation has its limits, so a segment of the lower barn has recently been transformed into a half-court basketball arena, with overhead lights and a leveled concrete floor. Guests are welcome to practice foul shots and engage in a little round ball. A dartboard is also available. Upstairs in the loft is a ping-pong table and a large TV.
Outside, you’ll find our sheep, Ben and Ippie, grazing contentedly in their pen or in the pasture among the orchard trees.
Long ago, people were very superstitious. When carpenters (or simply farmers doing carpentry work) would finish building a structure, they would tap on a piece of the timber as a gesture to a job well done. This was a leftover custom from an ancient Druid worship ritual.
The Druids, an earth-worshipping culture whose spirituality was closely aligned with the seasons of nature, would knock on the wood of their barn doors after their teams had been fed and bedded down for the night. This rap was believed to summon protective spirits to keep any evil from befalling the stock, stored feed or bedding. It was considered a good luck ritual.
To this day, when people hope for continued good fortune, they often “knock wood.”
“knock wood” –
something eerie to think about at night