Tuesday, April 21, 2015

If Barns Could Talk

A few of these books are available at the Relic Home.

To purchase a copy of If Barns Could Talk, please email dgdogy@comcast.net for further details.

Image result for If Barns Could Talk

Hi, My name is Doug Mottonen. I believe:

Barns have stories. These stories are a wonderful way of connecting us to who we are, and where we have been and maybe, where we are headed. Barns have a silent language or aura that speaks to us. If you like what what they say, please save them. That is what I am trying do. My intention is to make people aware of the importance of Barns as they are becoming destroyed in Utah and elsewhere. If you could help me I would like you ask YOU “If your Barn could talk what would it say in terms of history, memories, of what you would waiit people to know?” I would like to take a picture of your Barn and post it along with other Barns from your community on this web site and/or our partners (The West Jordan Historical Society) web site with a brief statement about your Barn.

My objectives are:
Let as many people as possible know of the importance of Barns through the internet

Recognize the pride that local communities have for their Barns

Be a resource for communities about how Barns can be saved by knowing what each community is doing in that regard

The Seely Barn is located in the middle of the block between 
Fourth and Fifth West and Main and First North.

A new book, If Barns Could Talk, compiled by Doug Mottonen features the Seely Barn as one of the first barns built in the Utah Territory.  It was built in 1862 without the use of a single nail.  But its history doesn't stop there.  It also served as a jail for Native American women and children when Sanpete County Pioneers fought the Utes and other neighboring tribes from 1865 until 1972.

A look inside the Seely barn shows the master craftsmanship of early Pioneers.

The property stands on ground owned by Terrel and Glenda Seely. Terrel is a descendant of Joe Seely, brother to Orange Seely, the first owner of the barn. Henry Wilcox was the builder and  was a brother to Clarissa Jane Wilcox Seely, a great grandmother to Terrel.  Henry had much help from other members of the family.  One can picture in his mind these men all working together with the horses and the tremendous amount of toil and labor it would have taken to move the heavy beams and hew the rough boards into the work of art that they are.

When the men were lifting the timbers, one man, who they called "Joe Heave", would call out "heave" so that they could lift together the heavy beams into place.  It's original construction site was on 5th west, halfway between Main Street and 1st North. It was later moved to Main Street on the creek so that the animals could have water more readily. From there it was moved to its present location.1

Looking closely at the barn's construction shows the care and craftsmanship it took to build in an era when nails were scarce.  The barn's history tells us all of the hardships the early pioneers sustained in settling this area.  

Doug Mottonen in his book says,   "What I found over the years is that if you talked to somebody about barns, it not only told about who they were, but who we are as a people." "There's a little bit of barn in all of us."  Doug's book also features the Mt. Pleasant Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop.  

The book can be purchased at the Relic Home.
1.  taken from history of the barn by Sue Ann Seely Crenshaw.


Also featured in "If Barns Could Talk"

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"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage - to know who we are and where we have come from."

~Alex Haley

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