JUNE 16, 2021 7:00 PM
CATHY WALTON: VANISHING BARNS
Vanishing Barns: Remembering the Gentle Giants Through Photographs, Stories, Diaries and Genealogy
The barns become alive with the stories told by their owners. Photos of each unique barn records an important link to the preservation of our Simcoe County history. How many farm tools do you recognize?
When she was only two, Cathy cried “cow…pig…horse!” when she had to leave the old farmhouse that soon after became her family’s home, and when they moved there the barn became her playground. As a preschooler, she tentatively crawled across beams on hands and knees while her younger brother walked across them. Cathy helped her dad mow thousands of small round hay and straw bales under the heat of the roof, and she was relieved when, at the age of forty, today’s large bales came into existence. Cathy married ‘the boy next door’. The house she’s lived in for much of her married life was moved to its present location by teams of horses, after a fire a hundred years ago, and her kitchen was actually once the barn that was part of that move. Directions to Cathy’s home still include ‘We’re a mile and a half up the road on the left… the barn is right beside the road.’
Retiring after teaching for thirty-four years, Cathy’s attention became drawn to the silent disappearance of the barns on the road where she’d lived since the age of two. Over the next seven years she recorded the history of more than 160 barns.