Barn Loft

Barn Loft/PA

Peter Aaslestad

The Barn at the Ivy Creek Natural Area was built in the 1930s by Conly Greer, Albemarle County's first African American extension agent, and it is a testament to his skill that it survives as an example of best agricultural practices of the time.  The significance of Greer's achievement has earned the Barn a designation on the National Register of Historic Places.  There has been some stabilization work done by the Ivy Creek Foundation and the space is not exactly as it was in Greer's time but much of the historic fabric survives.  

The loft of the Barn is a majestic, open space that is rarely been seen by visitors.  We are moving forward with plans to be able to open this space to the public in the near future.  In the meantime we want to thank Peter Aaslestad for taking photographs of the space so we can share it with you now.  This is the view of the loft standing towards the front (closer to the parking area).  The hayfork that you see near the ceiling in the front of the photograph was the mechanism that brought the hay, harvested on the farm, from the wagon below into the second story loft so it could be stored for later use.  This would have been done with a horse, first pulling the wagon of hay to the Barn and then moving the pulley that brought the hayfork along the ceiling to the appropriate spot to open and let its load drop.

In this image you can also see the windows that allowed light, the ventilation along the sides of the barn and the ladder along the far wall.  The kestrel box was installed by former Ivy Creek president Dan Bieker and housed kestrels for a few years before wire was placed over the side ventilation.

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