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Page last updated August 26, 2003

© Michael Kluckner

Written/sketched in 2003: Evelyn is a lovely grassy valley northwest of Smithers – like the meadows along the Bulkley River at Quick, a "promised land" touted by the promoters of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The red barn is a roadside icon – apparently unintentional, as improvements to Highway 16 bisected the farm, leaving the barn on one side and the farmhouse on the other. It is interesting because it is a "bank barn," built on a slope, with the huge hayloft reached by a ramp and the cattle's byre on the level below. These are the common style in Ontario and Quebec, but are rare in western Canada. The board siding on the long walls is nailed on diagonally to provide additional shear-bracing, perhaps an indication that storm winds howl down the valley in the winter. Although it is quite an old-fashioned kind of structure – a "reinforced balloon frame" – the barn was apparently built only about 40 years ago by Jack Reitsma, who died prematurely. Because of the bank and the ramp, it is difficult to adapt this type of barn to modern haying equipment, so I wonder what its long-term fate will be.

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Artwork and text ©Michael Kluckner, 2001, 2002, 2003