The barn was built in the late 1800s, and purchased by T. Raymond Barnes and his wife Ruth in 1915. As a dairy farm, the barn provided a livelihood for them and their six children. Along with milk, the Barnes family made maple syrup and snap beans.
It’s no mistake that the barn’s address is on Barnes Road. As the story goes, Raymond went to the North Brookfield, NY post office to determine his new mailing address, as the property was the only one on the road at that time. The post mistress suggested it be called Barnes Road, and from that day forward it was so.
In 1962, Raymond’s second eldest son, R. Lester and his wife Betty took over the barn while raising their five children. During this time, the barn was renovated to add more space for healthy milking cows. Today that space serves as the dance floor and stage area.
Carrying on the family tradition, Lester’s son Mike and his wife Glenice took over the barn in the late 1970s — complete with their own family of four children to help with the chores. Under Mike’s direction, the dairy farm was eventually converted to a boarding and raising facility for Holstein heifers. Raised on the acres of green rolling hills surrounding the barn, the cows were sold across the country and even overseas!
In 1997, the barn was renovated again and began to take shape as a social setting. The hayloft went from holding hay bales to holding square dances (a favorite past time for the Barnes clan — many in the family have proudly competed in dancing competitions!).
As a perfect setting for having fun, kicking back and performing the Virginia Reel, the barn became the “official” venue for the annual Barnes family reunion and community square dance. Always held on the first Saturday in August, the barn is always reserved on that date for the Barnes family and friends to continue their generations-long commitment to enjoying life in the clean, country air (while drinking a few beers from the built-in bar — another essential element of Barnes family fun!).
Keeping with tradition, the farm house on the barn property is now owned by Mike’s son Greg and his wife Julie, where they live with their children and help to keep the Barnes Barn in prime condition for every event.
The barn and its ground are incredibly treasured by all 200 (and growing) members of the Barnes family. Our commitment to maintaining what has become a relic and continued source of livelihood for the family is unparalleled.