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Timber Creek Barns

A Kansas couple restored two old barns and gave them new purpose
Photo courtesy of Martin Rude

When Martin Rude was a boy, he spent a lot of time playing in the barn on his grandparent’s farm. It was his dream to someday renovate a barn into a home.

Martin and his wife Cheryl live on 35-acres near Winfield, Kansas. There was an 1881 stone barn on their land and the couple decided they wanted to preserve its history. Not long after, they found an old 1890’s post-and-beam barn that also needed some TLC. They took it down and moved it to their property, and the search began for renovation materials. Martin found beams and rafters from an old icehouse in Wichita. Bleachers from a basketball facility in Winfield were turned into flooring. He found supplies from other barns, as well.

"There are all kinds of barns that were in various condition, levels of disrepair and falling down," says Martin. "Different people, when they started hearing about it, started letting us know well there’s these materials over here, or this barn over here, or you can have this barn if you take it down and save the materials."

Finding materials was one matter, but labor was another. Both Martin and Cheryl work with service learning programs at a local college. They hired students to help with the barn renovations.

"The number one thing that guys need to learn to help them in every area of their academics is how to work hard physically. So, we put them to work either helping disassemble or moving large stones," says Martin. "It’s amazing how wise a student can get if they spend a few days at hard labor."

The stone barn is used as an event venue for wedding receptions, meetings and parties. The post-and-beam barn was turned into a bed and breakfast. The Rude’s also live in that barn, Martin’s dream home.

Learn more about Martin and Cheryl's barns at timbercreekbarns.com

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