The surviving historic barns of the Beech Glen township reflect the activities and lifestyle of the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century. No barns are known to have survived from before the Civil War. The barns of the late 1800s that survived, and are visible from a main road, are typically those of higher quality construction built by the more successful farm families. The first commercial cash agriculture began in the early 1870’s; the “bright leaf” flue-cured tobacco variety, and required a specialized heated barn. Few of these barns have survived and none are visible from the road in this community. The next commercial crop was burley tobacco, beginning in the 1920s. There was a brief period of experimentation in the early 1900s with “dark” or Bull Face tobacco. This variety was grown for chewing tobacco and is well-represented by a unique Anderson family log barn, where the tobacco was cured by smoking with smoldering green branches and culled apples or cherry bark added for flavor.

Jim Carter Barn MDb0001

Carter.Phillips livestock & burley barn

3616 Beech Glen Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Oral tradition has this barn built in the 1880’s by Jim Carter with help from his brother John Carter. Beech Glen Road was then the Burnsville Road from Asheville and travelers could stop at this property and stay in the barn overnight. The farm was once acquired during the Civil War, but because it was purchased with Confederate money, the purchase was contested and there was an effort to take it back from the buyer. This title conflict persisted until the current owner purchased the land in 1964. Read More

“Big John” Metcalf Barn MDb0002

Big John Metcalf barn Madison County NC

654 Bradley Branch Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

This is a classic bank barn with a heavy rock retaining wall at the upper end supporting an earthen bank and ramp. The extensive use of lapped siding on the gable ends of this barn is uncommon for this era. There remains an exceptional and unusually large corn crib structure built of small logs with v-notches. The metal roof has the 3-U metal, reported to be site-made by Alcoa Aluminum Co. traveling crews. This barn is part of a large cove farmstead, and includes a late 19th century house. Read More

Oscar Young Barn MDb0003

Oscar Young barn

255 Oscar Young Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

The Oscar Young barn is part of a farmstead that included a relatively large cove of land, including a later dairy operation. Oscar Young, born 1891, built this barn in 1910 just before he deconstructed and rebuilt a nearby house after being married. It represents a relatively late use of hewn log cribs in this township, with V-notched logs, and was the primary utility barn housing their mules, Bill and Mert, a milk cow, and later a draft horse. The gambrel roof is original according to Gerald Young, Read More

Roy Ledford, Sr Barn MDb0004

MDb0004 Ledford barn for page

2300 Old Mars Hill Highway
Mars Hill, NC 28754

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. Read More

Tom Brown Barn MDb0005

Tom Brown Barn

6378 US Highway 23
Mars Hill, NC 28754

The Tom Brown barn is also known by an earlier owner’s name, O. B. Holcombe, who built and lived in the smaller single story rear section of the house. The farmstead was purchased by Tom Brown in 1892, and he had the large, ornately decorated two story section of the house built in 1894, reportedly by Lee Carter, likely with the help of Joe Carter and Melvin Metcalf. The barn has features of a late 19th century barn yet without the log crib base. It appears to be a transitional form that was evolving Read More

Oscar Anderson Sr Barn MDb0006

Oscar Anderson Sr Barn

19 Hamburg Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

This barn represents the conventional post-WWII burley tobacco barn built exclusively for air curing burley tobacco. It is what had become the standard structure of post and beam, consisting of round posts on hewn horizontal sills on rock piers, with round tier poles throughout. The central hallway posts had simple brackets to support the tier poles so that they could be removed when there was no tobacco hung, to allow for an open hallway for storing equipment and hay in the off-season. Read More

D. Nelson Anderson Barn MDb0007

D Nelson Anderson Livestock barn

1229 Paint Fork Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

This farm is located within a large open valley and includes a large amount of prime bottomland, part of an original 600+ acre purchase in the 1797, according to family history. The land included an active Indian path and because the area had only recently been opened to white settlement, the first family was concerned about possible hostilities. From an interview with Oscar Anderson, Sr. in 1985, he stated that the large barn was built as a livestock barn in 1903 and later adapted for air curing burley tobacco. Read More

Cornelius Buckner Barn MDb0008

Cornelius Buckner barn

1140 Ponder Creek Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

The Cornelius Buckner barn is a classic barn form similar to other large barns of the Beech Glen township and of the period: a large livestock barn with multiple log cribs supporting a large hay loft with lattice siding. It is a bank barn, the bank height determined by the height of a hay wagon bed. The bank is supported by a wall of large, dry stacked rocks. The structure includes partial timber framing with mortise and tenon joinery with peg fasteners. An unusual feature is the use of crossed diagonal braces. Read More

Dolph Robinson Barn MDb0009

Dolph Robinson barn

2614 Hamburg Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

This farm is a relatively high elevation farmstead in a narrow valley with less tillable land compared to farms with this type of barn owned by a more affluent family. The old house that once stood nearby was a large 2-story frame house that burned in the 1990’s. Surviving family members recall very little about this barn, the original barn being a 30’ X 36’ livestock barn in the typical tradition of the late 19th century, with three additions added to the ends for burley tobacco, over the period of its life. Read More

Job Stokes Ledford Barn MDb0010

Stokes Ledford barn

226 Beech Glen Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

This is the largest barn identified to date of this era and type, and may be the oldest as evidenced by the use of cut nails, hand wrought iron spikes, hinges, and round pole rafters. It has six separate log crib stalls, more than other barns found to date. Log notching is half dovetail. It has the only surviving round pole rafters found in this township, and a unique diagonal interior bracing using long, round, white pine poles. The primary vertical support posts in the loft section are round white pine poles as well. Read More

Wiley Metcalf Barn MDb0011

Wiley Metcalf barn

2752 Upper Metcalf Creek Loop Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Very little is known by family members about this barn, although they know that it is a high quality example of this type of livestock barn. Tradition held that it was built by Reverend Jim Corn and Joe Carter, two known and popular builders of the time. This is an exemplary example of this type of barn, of high quality log hewing and notching, with very tight half dovetail notches except for the top log which was notched using a V-notch. There are large hewn beams throughout, some joined by mortise. Read More

D. Nelson Anderson Bull Face Barn MDb0012

Bull Face barn D Nelson Anderson

1129 Paint Fork Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

This barn is a very large log barn of round logs, measuring 30 feet wide by 38 feet long, and 24 logs high, or +/- 16 feet high to the top log. Logs were placed with some slightly hewn surfaces, using V- notches and a variety of wood species including white pine, yellow pine, oak, and some chestnut. Log diameter ranges from 9.5 inches to 5 inches. Rock piers support the logs at four corners and midway on long sides, and either side of the end doors. An unusual feature was quickly noticed about this barn. Read More

Thurman Briggs Barn MDb0013

Thurman Briggs barn

2501 Old Mars Hill Highway
Mars Hill, NC 28754

This site is a classic early twentieth century family commercial and living setting where the family lived in the gas station/store and ran the business while operating basic farm activities with chickens, draft horses, garden and some crops. This family business began as an earlier gas station and store, down the hill from the barn, on the original Burnsville Highway built in 1922 as part of the US/NC highway expansion to accommodate the new automobile age. It is a good example of the progression over time. Read More

Reagan and Polly Wilson Barn MDb0014

Reagan and Polly Wilson barn

601 Terry’s Fork Road
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Little is known about this remote farmstead. One story passed down among neighbors is that this homestead was where draft dodgers are said to have hidden during WWII, because of its remoteness. This farm is at the upper end of a headwater hollow that once included a road over the gap into the Big Ivy Creek valley and Barnardsville, Buncombe County, as Barnardsville was the nearest town to this corner of Madison County. The property includes another older log barn, a more recent burley tobacco barn. Read More