From the time I was quite young, we would pass by the well run Karasec Farm, on Ledge Rd., Hinckley Twp., Medina County. The farm house dated to the early 1800’s, the barn was well built with a large stone and dirt barn ramp leading up to the main, “second” floor. The ground floor was sectioned into cattle stalls and milking stanchions. A milk house stood to the front right of the barn, a large tractor and truck shed was nearby, a chicken coop was between the house and tractor shed, andÂ a large equipment building was left of the barn. All the buildings were always freshly painted white with a quite noticable green trim. Every year the Karasek’s planted the west field to a rotation of well tended wheat, corn, hay crops. And eggs were always for sale.
The summer of ’08Â I happened to drive by and bulldozers were making short work of the place. The Karasec’s had passed away, city folks had bought the farm, and the house burned down before they could move in. I quickly pulled in and pleaded with the contractor to let me save the tractor shed and equipment building (the barn was being kept by the new owners). He gave me three days.
The open front 60×17 1/2 ft. shed we got home fairly easilyÂ and later turned it into a 30×17 four sided building (see post on Lewis Weaving Mill/bake shop). The 40×20 equipment shed was a bit more work.
I traded some Amish guys rights to hunt on my farm in return for helping me drop and load the building. I prepared the moving of the building by removing the roof shingles, roof boards, and rafters. Unfortunately, beforeÂ I got them cleaned up, the Amish arrived. (A funny thing happened.Â I needed to make a phone call to have my friend Ward Cox come withÂ his trailer but I didn’t have a phone. The Amish crew leader handed me his cellphone.Â I had never used one, soÂ I had to ask an Amish man to show me how to use a phone.Â I felt a bit “out of time”.)Â As we started to pick up the wall sections we had to be very careful becauseÂ the ground was covered with boards and nails. But we got done without injury (I thought). After we got the building home, one of the Amish guys sat down and pulled off his shoe and sock. His foot was covered with blood. He hadÂ run a nail through his foot an hour earlier and never said a word. –I rather admired that. Doing what needed to be done, and not “crying” about the “little” things.
A couple days later I unloaded the wall sections. And there they sat for the next year and a half. I just had too many other buildings to work on. WhenÂ I finally got to re-erecting the equipment building, it was getting to beÂ in fairly bad shape. But I chopped the 3 ft. tall grass that had grown up around it and decided to raise one section and see if it was worth saving (Â I actually almost burned the whole thing thinking it too far gone).Â But IÂ got the first section up, then the second and just kept at it until I had the whole thing up. It took a bit of work raising a two story 40×20 building using only hand tools and come-alongs, but if you know the tricks it’s not too bad.
I then sawed pine logs into boards and rafters, reroofed the building and added a second floor, which I use for storage. Again it was a little work raising some mighty big rafters alone (I tend to over build things) and putting on the new metal roof was a bit tricky in the wind, but it went ok.
The Karasec Equipment Building is now being used to store and display the museum’s many threshing machines and fanning mills.
Addendum. -Feb. 1, 2012
This has been a most unusual winter so far. We haven’t had any yet. A little snow here and there, but mostly fairly warm and rainy. The last three days I’ve been working on finishing the barn. I had never completed putting up the siding on either end peak. (If you look closely at the picture you can just see where the white siding ends about were the red roof begins. I’ve now got the siding up on the north end, and I painted theÂ boards today. …Absolutely unheard of for Feb 1 in Northern Ohio.
–Quite a change from last years unending snow and cold.Â Â I didn’t get a single outside job done on the museum last winter. This year I’m way ahead on this year’s planned projects.