The Opposite of a Barn Raising

Amish Man Drill
All photos by Chris Clark/

What goes up, must come down. And if it’s a barn you have in mind, the Amish might be able to help you.

We’ve witnessed a lot of barns rising skyward thanks to Amish. Here is one heading in the other direction.

Destroying a Barn

An photo essay tells the story of this job, which took place near Sparta in west-central Michigan. The English owner is actually dismantling the over-100-year-old structure, with plans to put it back up nearby.

The crew is “mostly brothers” from the area of Fremont (this is a 2-church district settlement in Newaygo, Muskegon, and Oceana Counties, according to JAPAS).

Barn Deconstruction

The crew’s leader, Marlin Miller, explains: “We grew up in these barns…We know everything there is to know about how they are put together.”

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    1. RC

      Speaking of JAPAS, does anyone know if the next issue is coming out soon?

      1. Next issue of Journal of Amish and Plain Anabaptist Studies

        RC I have been wondering the same myself. I am subscribed to the mailing list so usually get notifications when new issues come out.

        I have been checking the JAPAS site this month but haven’t seen one yet. It’s been on an April and October publishing schedule but perhaps that schedule has changed.

        When the next issue is out I’ll have a post here letting you know it’s available.

    2. Marilyn

      Oh, is that neat !!! This is the first barn I have seen coming done..

    3. Us too...

      Oddly enough, the wife and I stumbled into pretty much the same thing while traveling through the Greentop / Queen City (MO) area back in the summer. We didn’t get to see the taking-down part, but we found the small Amish group re-raising a barn they had taken down and moved from a nearby location. But for us, it may be the closest we get to seeing a barn raising…, and was good enough for my wife to feel like she could check that item off of her bucket list.

      1. Nice! I think a barn re-raising definitely counts. I hope to see the even less common barn moving one day 🙂

    4. Slightly-Handled-Order-Man

      Recycling the wood

      Question. If the Amish dismantled a barn among the community, would they keep the wood and reuse it elsewhere in a new build, or as part of an addition?
      I’ve always felt ripping down a barn, or other structures, and not using good materials was kind of wasteful.

      1. I would think so. Generally speaking some old barn wood is reclaimed and used for other purposes like flooring. I don’t think barn dismantling happens too often among the Amish though. In this story we see they are going to rebuild the structure for the customer somewhere nearby.

    5. Kim Doran

      remove wood from barns

      please call me, I need to know if you tear down barns and use that wood to relocated and build a barn across the street. Kim 614.778.4312 We live in New Albany, OH

    6. K Gallagher

      Barn to be removed

      Please contact me re: the possibility of harvesting the wood from barn in pretty good condition.

    7. Gail Wilson

      Would like to know if you tear down barn and put them back up

    8. Barn Raising

      Looking for an Amish crew to dismantle a barn for the materials in Coldwater Mi.

    9. Dismantle old barn

      Live in northeast pa and need old barn with very good beams and flooring

    10. Kathy

      take down a barn

      I need to have a barn taken down at my parents house. I wanted to check into what it would cost to have this done and what options I would have. Both my parents are gone now and the barn is falling. We are located east of Rochester NY

    11. thomas r dukes

      Removing a small barn in greenwood , de.

      Looking for amish that would be interested in dismantleing a small barn in greenwood, del. and salvaging the wood for flooring, furniture, etc. tom dukes 717 682 2184

    12. David Mcdonald

      Barn tear down

      I have a old barn and house I need torn down. The barn has some boards 16 inches wide and the house has logs in it covered by shiplap with wood floors. I am in carthage Tennessee.