Carolyn Linton, the artisan behind Green Meadow Barn Company, is a storyteller. As she guides you around her showroom in Millersburg, Missouri she recalls the history of her pieces with pride in her voice. Her hands, the hands that created each piece of furniture, lovingly trace the grain of the barn plank wood that she has crafted into a harvest table.
A keepsake box, with a “SOLD” tag on it, has a handwritten note inked inside the lid. The note describes the barn that Linton salvaged to create the unique piece. The barn, built in 1892, near Glasgow, Missouri at a spot that Lewis and Clark had described during their 1804 expedition, had overlooked the Missouri River for over a century.
Linton scours the rural countryside of Callaway County and surrounding areas for historic barns that are no longer candidates for restoration and then breathes a second life into them. The barn is first deconstructed and moved to Linton’s workshop and showroom where the timbers are cleaned, sorted, and sanded. Linton’s barn-whisperer like skills and 30+ years of experience guide her hands to create something new and useful from the old boards and joists that might have otherwise rotted in a field. Barn planks become harvest table tops, barn joists become bench seating, and smaller pieces become keepsake boxes. Linton finishes each piece with a pewter medallion that is inscribed with a sketch of the barn that the materials came from. Each piece is also signed by the artist.
Each of Linton’s pieces are purposeful and useful- and she hopes that they will become family heirlooms passed down from generation to generation.
Her workshop and showroom could very well be Linton’s most magnificent labor of love. Both are housed in the Red Barn. The Red Barn started life in Livingston County, near Chillicothe, and was on the farm that Linton was raised on. Before her beloved father passed away Linton told him of her dream of moving the barn to her Millersburg property. Her dad smiled and commented that it would be a lot of work. Hard work didn’t deter Linton. With her father’s blessing she began numbering all the pieces and parts of the barn as she disassembled it. While the barn was in its most vulnerable state during the process a furious storm passed just beyond the barn destroying power lines. The barn escaped damage unscathed. Linton continued the project and now, after being reassembled by hand, the red barn is the birthplace of Linton’s purposeful art that celebrates Missouri’s deepest of roots and agricultural history.
It’s no wonder that Linton’s handcrafted furniture strikes a chord with buyers from across the United States who are looking for a character piece.
To arrange a viewing of Green Meadow Barn Company’s showroom, visit their website at www.greenmeadowbarncompany.com or call 573-592-0331.
*A portion of our trip to Fulton & Callaway County was sponsored by Callaway County Tourism and their partners. However, all opinions are the authors.