2300 Old Mars Hill Highway
Mars Hill NC 28754
Year Built: 1945-47
Historic Owners: Roy Ledford, Sr.
This barn sits at the end of a creek bottomland field that was intensively cultivated for burley tobacco, now used for hay. It was part of an original large landholding of over 300 acres thought to have been owned and farmed by Job Stokes Ledford, whose homestead is approximately ½ miles to the northeast. The land is situated along Little Ivy Creek approximately ½ mile before it joins Big Ivy Creek to form the Ivy River. It is part of the property that includes an old gas station of the period of the second route of the old Burnsville Highway, circa 1950’s, the station now being a auto repair shop owned and operated by Roy Ledford, Jr.
This is one of the earliest burley tobacco barns built with a single slope shed roof, a new roof type of the period, and built exclusively for burley tobacco curing, circa 1945 to 1947. It is a typical post and beam construction yet does not have diagonal siding in the convention of the period, perhaps because it is an early version of this type of burley barn and may have been an effort toward change.
Mr. Roy Ledford, Jr. told the story he heard from his uncle James Ledford about a mule named Coley that was used to drag the logs to construct the barn. The builders were getting the log poles from trees on the ridge above the bottomland. A couple of men would work on the barn construction at the site while others were cutting the tree poles on the ridge. They would attach one or more poles to the mule’s harness and send him down the hill alone to the site. The men at the site would unhook the poles and send Coley back up the hill by himself to where the men were cutting the trees. This continued until the barn frame was completed. Coley lived to be 45 years old.
Historic Use: Burley Tobacco
Type of Construction: Post and Beam and Sawn lumber
Siding Materials: Milled Boards
Roof Shape: Shed
Roofing Materials: 5-V metal
Roof Framing: Milled rafters
Foundation: Concrete Block
Species of Wood:
Fasteners: Wire nails
NOTE: The information above is an abridged list. For the full unabridged list (complete details), please download the PDF of the Data Form above.
NOTE: These photographs are meant to illustrate various features and construction elements of this barn.