The Risk Barn story.
Based on a some what true story.
The story starts sometime In 1905 when a lawyer out of Minnesota, decided to take a risk and move out west to stake his claim. Little did he know that the dry prairie land of the Snake River plains would be where the family would settle and lay their roots. Today it is known as Magic Valley of Idaho.
This century old barn was built in the middle of the sage brush desert in what is Jerome, Idaho. Many wagon loads of lumber had to make a great journey to the spot were old red would sit, the barn sat at a artesian spring witch made a great stoping point for travelers heading too or from Twin Falls. The crossing the of all mighty Snake River was treacherous for every traveler, they risked their lives heading up or down the rocky canyon road facing falling rocks and steep sides.
The barn was built on a foundation of lava rocks as most of the building in the area and era. Southern Idaho has an abundant amount of lava rock so at this time it was to go to building material.
We started this restoration project in the spring of 2000. The barn was purchased a year earlier then moved ¼ mile up the road from a active farm that was ready to demolish this piece of American history to make way for newer buildings.
After turn-buckling this rickety old barn for a year to get it straighten back up after years of neglect, it was time for the big move.
Not many people could pull off a big job like this, and not have the old barn end up in a twisted pile of shit. Luckily we found a old guy that knew how to move big objects like this. He was a old goat that smoked cigarettes and drank whiskey, he wore a ragged old sun bleached jacket and a old school blue Miller beerbaseball cap. The whiskers on his face were white as snow and look as tough as wire along with the deep wrinkles on his forehead that surely could tell some story’s. The man and his helper got to work with some help from the farm works that the barn sat on. They started by jacking up the old barn over the next few days. They placed a lot of cribbing under the barn in strategic location as well as cross supports that span 50 feet from side to side of the barn. With some large airplane tires that they rolled in place under the barn for the smooth ride, finally the barn was ready for its big move.
After a few days of rain it was finely dry enough for the move, the morning started off with coffee and cigarettes along with the moving plan. It was about 7 o’clock in the morning it was time to move the barn. The old man took a swig of whiskey from his flask that he grab from his back pocket. He stepped up to his truck, took one last look at the rickety barn as he muttered to his self. He fired up the motor and let idle for a few minute, he jammed the truck in to gear and slowly let the clutch out. The barn started slowly move up the damp dirt road to it final destination. The old barn creeped up the road at a snails pace with erie sounds of wood creaking and popping, it swayed from left to right as the old truck blew black smoke out it’s rusty smokestacks.
Nearly at the top of the dirt hill the old short frame truck started to buck and hop, as the bald looking tires dug in to the the soft clay ground. The old barn reared back as if it was going to fall over, the front tires of the truck started to lift off the ground you could see the old man eyes light up as he keep the course. What seem like a eternity the front wheels finally came back to down to earth, at that same time the old man started yelling profanities of happiness out the window at the barn having another snort of the red eye.
Amazingly the old barn rolled up in the concrete slab after about a hour or so of hair razing slow going. The old man jump out of his truck with joy, he lite up a smoke and looked up to the sky, weather he was looking at the top of the barn or giving thanks silently to our creator, we will never know.
Over the next few weeks they jacked the barn back up to remove the cribbing at the same time concrete stem walls were being installed. Giving the barn more height in the lower level, instead of a 8 foot ceiling it would now have a 9 foot ceiling on the first level. The red barn stands at 39 foot and 8 inches just 2 inches short of the county code for building height.
Now in it’s new resting spot the barn sits as a iconic land mark once again. Saved from destruction of man and kept from being wiped from American history this century old barn has been given new life.
Our mission is to preserve this old barn with a modern twist for all to see and as long as this big beautiful barn is remembered as a happy place used by generations of the past & and new beginnings for the present, we will continue to maintain the piece of history for a 100 more years.
“Old Barns are place-markers in time and holders of memories that rest silently on the rural landscape. They represent the pride of human spirit the coming together of neighbors and communities”.
We are The Risk Barn, our specialty includes rustic weddings, a public & private meeting location and outdoor concerts amphitheater.
Our barn is located in southern Idaho, minutes from down town TwinFalls and just off Interstate 84 between IdahoFalls and Boise, Idaho.
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