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Historic 119-year-old barn now open to the public

Posted at 6:24 PM, Sep 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-12 00:37:50-04

BLAIR, Neb. (KMTV) — Back in June, a barn more than 115-years-old was on the verge of being torn down, was instead transported by truck to its new home.

Now, after months of fixing it all up, it's open to the public.

"I think it's a pretty nice addition to the Blair area just coming down the Highway 133 corridor," said Maria Bledsoe, co-owner of Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch.

That nice addition is that historic barn. It was on the path of being torn down, but that's when Bledsoe and her husband saved it and turned it into a new feature at their property.

"We could have built something brand new probably a little bit less cost-wise, but it wouldn't have had that history or that character behind it," said Maria.

Crews gutted the inside and removed things like grain bins, and replaced it with a full-service bakery and gift shop.

"The plumbing, the septic system, the electrical, bakery, the lighting, all that, it took us about a month to get all that in there and going," said Jeff Bledsoe, the other co-owner of Skinny Bones.

He says the barn has many unique features they kept intact, including the high beams and the floor you walk on.

"The wood floor is unique for a barn. A lot of barns have a cement floor or just a dirt floor. That's what's really unique about this," said Jeff.

They also refurbished things found inside the barn, including an old butcher's table, which now holds candles and the bakery set up.

"The counters, the doors, everything that we've made was from in there, and it kind of really highlights that bakery with all the antiques and everything," said Zach Treves, farm manager of Skinny Bones.

The outside is fixed too. New windows and doors were added, along with a deck, which makes you forget just how old this structure is.

"120 years ago, people were farming out of this barn, and here we are still using it today," said Treves.

"You can't duplicate this. You cannot go out and just build a brand new for what we have here, so to me, it's priceless," said Maria.

Friday is opening day for Skinny Bones. They encourage visitors to wear masks and social distance. Visit their website for their hours and location.