Sunday, May 11, 2014

Barn at Station being moved to make way for industry

By Kristen Sekinger
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

A familiar barn on Midway Station property that was recently zoned industrial is being moved this week to the family farm of Steve and Tom Greathouse a half-mile down Georgetown Road.

Midway Station has streets and sidewalks – and a barn, but not for long.
Because the barn sits near the Midway Station water tower and is near Interstate 64, it is a familiar sight in the area. It sits on property that the Woodford County Economic Development Authority bought more than 20 years ago for an industrial park that has largely failed.

But late last year, Steve Greathouse said, EDA representatives told the family there were industrial prospects for the property and the barn was in the way. The 43-acre section of Midway Station was recently rezoned because EDA has industrial prospects for it, perhaps an automobile-parts plant that could employ hundreds.

The Greathouse brothers brought up the idea of moving the barn to their farm. “We’ve rented the property for the past three years to put corn and tobacco up there and then used the barn to house tobacco,” Steve Greathouse said.

Sonny Jones, a member of the EDA board, said the authority also wants to preserve the barn. “Too many of these old barns are being cast aside,” he said. We’d really rather not do that.” Jones said the Greathouses “lost a barn in a windstorm, so they need a barn, they have a property that is down the same road on the other side very close to there, a half mile away.”

The barn is being moved with a tractor-trailer and heavy steel devices that are necessary in order to move a barn.

A Kentucky Utilities crew recently raised a power line for the move.
“First you have to put steel in there and then brace it to the sides of the posts, and then use cables in the barn to tie it together, and then they use air jacks and just raise it up and put it on wheels,” said Greathouse. He said Sunday that those preparations should be completed Tuesday or Wednesday.

“It will take a tractor across three fence lines, under a power line and then it will make a left to go west and go across the road up on top of the hill where the foundation is already there. I’ve already done all my leg work, the foundation is in and the pole is up,” Greathouse said. “It will be used for farm purposes, tobacco and storage, equipment and whatever else is necessary for the farm.”

The barn is thought to have been built in the 1930s, but it is unknown exactly how old it is. “I’m guessing the barn was put up in the 30s when the tobacco program was first instituted,” Greathouse said. “A whole lot of these barns in this area were built during that time.”

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