A couple years ago I received a call from Barbara Gynn, of Brecksville, Cuyahoga Co. She needed the roof fixed on one of her farm’s out-buildings. She called me because several years earlier I had fixed her brother Elton’s barn (He had asked Amish, local builders, contractors and others to fix it and no one could. –I did.). I told her I could fix her building, at her expense, or I could move the building at my cost. She was very on in years and just wanted the building saved, it didn’t matter where. Her family was old Brecksville and she didn’t want another building with so many memories to just fall away. When I first talked to her she was wheel chair bound, and when I finally got it moved, she was in nursing home.
I got it disassembled and several friends (Tom, Robert and Mendy) helped me load it and I got it home and back up. I called her family and they let her know just a day before she passed. I really regret I didn’t get it done while she was still to home, but at least she knew that it had been saved.
Mrs. Gynn’s feelings about her building is of the sort of circumstances that have happened often as I have gathered the museum. Another example is some years ago an old gentleman farmer gave me his hay loader. Nearly the last thing he did in life was to call me from hospital to make sure I had picked it up. I had. –He died (peacefully I was told) an hour later. Mr. Frazee, of Grangerburg, Medina Co., knew his time was coming. He called me to come pick up his equipment because he didn’t want to see it go to a scrap yard. The morning I went over to load his equipment he looked like something was terrible wrong. When I asked him , he admitted to having cried the night before (no small admission for a man of his generation) because losing his equipment meant he was losing a part of himself and his farm life was over. He passed not long after. –I have found that many old time farmers, who spent their lives on the land, care passionately about the tools, equipment, “antiques” and buildings that they spent their lives with their hands on.
So, now, the Gynn Farm outbuilding has become the museum’s barrel making shop. We have a complete set of tools for making or repairing any kind of barrel. We applied a fresh coat of “Gynn yellow” paint to honor how the original owners had painted all their outbuildings. It makes a quite noticeable sight/site as you enter the museum.