The Barn Raisers, a new documentary by Mid-America Emmy® nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films, will be showcased at the Rochester Hills Museum’s Film Series on Friday, February 24th at 7:00 p.m. The museum is located at 1005 Van Hoosen Road, Rochester Hills, Michigan.
The Parker Barn in Manchester, Michigan.
The Barn Raisers tells the story of barns in the Midwest by examining them through the lens of architecture. The film explores what building methods, barn styles, and materials tell us about the people who built them, the life they lived, and the role these “country cathedrals” played in the settling and building of the Nation. The Barn Raisers is a companion film to the Rundles’ Emmy® nominated historical documentary Country School: One Room – One Nation.
“How could we create something from practically nothing with just a handful of tools and no drawings? The answer is in the barns,” said Rudy Christian, a traditional timber framer and barn preservationist from Burbank, Ohio.
Barns were constructed by farmer-craftsmen, professional builders who traveled from job to job and even architects like Frank Lloyd Wright. The Barn Raisers paints a cinematic portrait of barns and builders, an important way of life that has been largely forgotten, and the film reminds us that these remnants from America’s rural past are still here to be interpreted and experienced.
“I see old barns as documents,” said architectural historian Marlin Ingalls of the Office of the State Archaeologist in Iowa City. “There’s no other thing on the landscape that gives that sense of connection to history and agricultural activities of a bygone era.”
"These barns are a part of the history of Amiercan immigration," said artist Jeremy Marlow who owns the Marlow-Saak Barn located in Waukon, Iowa. The barn is featured on the film's poster. "It's really sad to see these things fall down at an alarming rate." It is estimated that Iowa loses over 1,000 vintage barns annually.
In addition to Michigan, The Barn Raisers features stories from Iowa, Kansas, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Steve Stier, Michigan Barn Preservation Network in "The Barn Raisers".
The Barn Raisers was partially funded by grants from the Michigan Barn Preservation Network, the National Barn Alliance/Russ & LuAnn Mawby, Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Humanities Iowa, the Kansas Humanities Council, the Ohio Humanities Council, and the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Moline Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Jackson County. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this documentary film and program do not necessarily reflect those of these organizations.
The Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan.
The Rundles are the producers of the regional Emmy® nominated historical documentaries Country School: One Room – One Nation, River to River: Iowa’s Forgotten Highway 6, and Letters Home to Hero Street (co-produced with WQPT-PBS).
The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm interprets, preserves and collects the history of the greater Rochester area for present and future generations. Located in Stoney Creek Village, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, this 16-acre museum complex was home to the Taylor and Van Hoosen families dating back to 1823. It features structures original to the property from 1840 to the early 20th century. Presented in a restored 1927 dairy barn are well-designed and informative exhibits highlighting the settlement, agriculture, industry and cultural evolution of this community. The museum serves as the repository for artifacts and archives related to the greater Rochester area and offers access for research.