Threat: Demolition by Neglect
Rural Guilford County
Since the earliest days of settlement, the family farm has been a vital image in Guilford County. As the main structures of farms, barns evoke a sense of tradition and closeness to the land that seems to diminish each year in our county’s rapidly suburbanizing landscape. Historic barns are threatened by many factors. On farmland near cities, barns are often seen only in decay, as land is removed from active agricultural use. In some regions, barns are dismantled for lumber, their beams sold for reuse in living rooms. Further threats to historic barns and other farm structures are posed by changes in farm technology, involving much larger machines and production facilities, and changes in the overall farm economy, including increasing farm size and declining rural populations.