Barns of Minnesota (Minnesota Byways)
Minnesota’s barns are remarkable testaments to a Midwestern way of life, one centered on the land, work, family, ingenuity, and perseverance. Many think of barns as breathtaking landmarks along the byways. Others have their favorite barns—the well-kept, red dairy barn near St. Cloud, the faded horse barn on the way to Faribault. Still others know these structures more intimately: barns are as integral to their lives as family and home.
In Barns of Minnesota, photographer Doug Ohman showcases the vast array of these exceptional landmarks, built by hand in wood, stone, brick, or metal and dating as far back as 1880. Where Ohman’s photographs capture the beauty of the barn from the outside in, Will Weaver’s evocative story illuminates the life of the barn from the inside out. Readers witness the making and breaking of one barn as it plays into the life and sustenance of several generations of one family who settled the land in 1922 and who farmed into the age of agri-business.
Story by Will Weaver
Doug Ohman is a photographer who specializes in historic structures and community landmarks. His photographs have been featured in the Smithsonian Institution’s exhibit Barn Again! Celebrating an American Icon. He lives in New Hope, Minnesota.
Will Weaver is an award-winning author whose works include A Gravestone Made of Wheat, which won the Minnesota Book Award for fiction, and a forthcoming novel, Full Service. He is a professor of English at Bemidji State University.