The Amish “Barn Moving” (Video)

You’ve heard of the Amish barn raising–but what about the Amish “barn moving”?

Not only do Amish work together to put up a barn in short order, sometimes they team up to literally pick up and move a structure. And there are a handful of videos on Youtube showing this in action.

First, from Wisconsin. The video maker writes:

This took place in rural Dalton, Wisconsin. An Amish man assembled a couple hundred neighbors to move his pole shed from one area of his farm to another. As word spread it became a sort of event and quite a few spectators turned out. This was the first time anything like this had been attempted in this settlement. Once the building was lifted it took maybe five minutes to actually move.

(Update: video unavailable)

Pretty neat to see all those feet moving down below…at one point in the video it looks like a giant barn-centipede.

Next, a similar endeavor out of Jasper, New York, which the video poster describes as “200 Amish men carrying a barn to a new foundation”. This one was shot at greater distance, but you can still make out the rounded structure creeping forward.

The two conclusions I draw after watching: 1) Why pay a building mover if you can just get friends and family to lend a hand?  2) You’re going to need a couple hundred of those friends and family (that’s when it helps to be Amish!).

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    1. OldKat


      All I can think to describe this is Wow! I have moved several small
      buildings in my life, but nothing like this.

      Last fall my wife and I moved a small storage building that my son had built in his backyard. He stick built it, but there was no way to get a truck and trailer in to get it out and the new owners of his former house did not want it.

      We jacked it up, put it on pipes laying on the ground & hooked a long cable to my flatbed truck and rolled it out far enough to get a trailer under it. The neighbors were all out watching and commenting on how interesting it was to see this done. I bet they would go wild if they saw this video! What we did is pretty tame in comparison.

      1. You’d think lifting an entire building would be dangerous, but as with a barn raising I would think that there must be one head honcho who is coordinating the process (you can hear someone calling out at one point). Plus with that many bodies involved I’d bet these guys are not huffing and straining to lift it. Unsurprisingly even the kids get involved.

    2. Alice Mary

      A "moving" experience (sorry!)

      There was at least one two-story brick building (a tavern)in my old Chicago neighborhood that my mother told me was moved (though not by hand). I would have thought moving a pole barn (while being lighter than a brick & wooden building) would be “iffier”—more prone to fall apart. They sure proved me wrong!

      This was really interesting! Thanks!

      Alice Mary

    3. Matt from CT

      Ironically, just saw this on Failblog (which also posts “Wins!” sometimes). Though they might be Mennonites.

      1. That’s actually what led me to these videos–saw the one you linked myself the other day, and looks like it is making the rounds of the major news sites right now. A little hunt on Youtube brought up these.

    4. Laura

      That video is certainly living proof of the old adage, “Many hands make light work”!

    5. Linda

      Great find, Erik! I have heard about the barn being moved in Kalona, Iowa, and the house in Spartansburg, PA, but this is news to me. Thanks. Did you hear the Pennsylvania Dutch word “boova” or “Buwe” (boys)?

      1. I actually noticed that Linda, but that was about the only thing I could make out 🙂

    6. Juanita Cook

      I had never seen a barn moving until I watched this video. It is awesome.

    7. MaryAnn Pepe


      Right before I saw these 2 barn moving videos, a friend emailed me one from another site! Now I have seen three in one day! LOL

    8. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man


      Wow is probably the only thing I can say about these videos. I liked the first one you shared better than the second one, but both are interesting.

      I have seen house movings twice in my lifetime, one was literally down the street from one location to another, it is a 10 minute walk (I’ve done the walk many times) and the other, well, that was an inter-provincial move of a home from Manitoba to Ontario if I recall, but both of the moves I remember was done on the back of a trailer and with a police escort, but it was the high light of the day.

      Sorry about the absence, I got busy with work and family stuff. I have been reading AA and following on a facebook account, however. Have a good weekend

    9. Melissa H

      A few houses in my old neighborhood were lifted and moved to new locations, and I found that fascinating to watch…but these barn videos are even more fascinating to watch! Teamwork is definitely the way to go.