Every so often I go through my photo archives to see if there are any photos I have not yet developed that are worthy of attention. Editing styles and techniques develop over time, and so a photograph I may have considered unworthy of my time and attention can be developed and look good enough for the public to see. Such was the case this past week when I developed the photograph above an old red barn near Blanchardville, Wisconsin on a cold snowy day in January 2006. I can’t believe it’s been ten years ago already.
When I finish editing photographs I always log the location of the photographs on a map. This time I needed help finding the location since it was made ten years ago. So I used “street view” on Google Maps. I was shocked by what I saw. That beautiful old abandoned red barn was gone. It had collapsed. And it was just a pile of overgrown timber. A far cry from how I saw it ten years ago.
Saddened by its loss I contacted the owner. She said the roof finally collapsed some time shortly after I made this photo and the rest of it fell when a tornado came through the area in 2010. I sent her a copy of the photograph because I thought it might have some sentimental value to her and her family since the farm was in the family for four generations. The photo inserted in the article to the right is how the barn looks today.
The good news is that I now know who the property owners are. I am negotiating to buy some of the barn boards to fabricate into frames for some of my prints. As a sucker for photographs of barns, I am sad to to see this and so many other barns like this one disappear from the Wisconsin landscape. But if it is going to happen, I guess, at least I can try to memorialize it in some–albeit it simple–way.