South Marshall Township Barns

The South Marshall township is a smaller, yet long township bordered by the French Broad River on the northeast, and Buncombe County on the southwest. The primary agricultural crop of burley tobacco ceased production with the end of the Tobacco Price Support Program in 2004, and as tobacco barns were no longer income-producing, the incentives to maintain them declined, leaving a farmscape of many seemingly abandoned barns. On the east end of the township, along the Rector Corner ridge, there are even fewer surviving barns. This may be attributed to changing development patterns as new, post-tobacco landowners sought the scenic views rather than farmland.

Farther west and north, the landscape changes and is comprised of five different valleys, with the ridges between, and represent classic Appalachian farmscapes, with small acreages of tillable land that demanded hard work and frugality throughout the past two centuries of mountain farming. The surviving historic barns, many now relegated for use as storage buildings, reflect those strenuous lifestyles. Many sixth and seventh-generation families remain on the original family land of the early 19th century settlement period.

The known history of these older barns varies: most have survived with few remaining family descendants to tell their stories. In general, the barns were built by the farm family with the help of neighbors and perhaps a local carpenter.

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Gudger Ditmore Barn MDsom0001

64 Highland Creek Drive
Marshall, NC 28753

This barn and farm are set along Sandy Mush Creek which forms the southern boundary of Madison County with Buncombe County. The site was once known as Trail Branch and was situated along a major wagon and stagecoach road that ran from Asheville to Marshall, and later became NC 20. The farm is rolling hills, most of which are steep with only small bottomland areas for farming and is on the southern end of the Pleasant View community and the Rector Corner area of Madison County. COMPLETE INFORMATION

Olin Jarrett Barn MDsom0002

4137 Rector Corner Road
Marshall, NC 28753

The Obediah and Polly Odell Jarrett family moved from what is currently known as Jarrett Cove in the Big Laurel Creek area of Madison County, approximately in the mid-1800’s, to Blow Hole Road off Rector Corner Road. The barn is believed to have been built in 1864 by Obediah’s son, Zebulon Baird Vance Jarrett. Family oral tradition describes Obediah as a Civil War Confederate soldier who deserted three times, but was favored by Governor Zebulon Vance thus the name for his son. COMPLETE INFORMATION

Pierce Rector Barn MDsom0003

273 H.C. Rector Road
Marshall, NC 28753

The Rector family land ownership goes back to the early settlement period of this part of WNC, with the barn remaining on Rector land owned intermittently, but consistently by the Rector family. The barn is a hewn, timber livestock barn dated from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The most likely owner/builder of the barn is the barn’s namesake, John Peirce Rector, born in 1859. The Rector family has a long history of property ownership in the Marshall Township. COMPLETE INFORMATION