Good morning! Today I am joining Susan over at A Southern Daydreamer for her “Outdoor Wednesday” post. Feel free to join us as each of us share the wonder, beauty, and awe of both Mother Nature and man.
One week ago today, horrific storms blew through the Kansas City metro area. Around 11:30 PM on the evening of May 12, Mother Nature unleashed her fury. While the jury is still out (waiting on The National Weather Center’s final confirmation) as to whether damage was caused by a microburst, straight line winds, or a tornado the end result was the same…
utter destruction of this historic, preserved barn.
As the local media descended upon our little one-stoplight town on the outskirts of Kansas City, the pain and loss of this historic landmark was evident in the owner’s eyes. (Those blue skies can hold such power and fury!)
A little over one year ago (April of 2009) I shot the above three photos showing the beauty and effort of this piece of Kansas history and Americana preserved. Mary had been invited to a birthday party and had the time of her life.
According to the De Soto, Kansas Chamber of Commerce,
“Kill Creek Farm is a place where families and friends come every October to the traditional Harvest Festival with basket-weavers, blacksmiths, food vendors along with thousands of locally-grown pumpkins. All taking place on what continues to be a working farm with the livestock and buildings associated with agriculture 50-100 years ago. Open year-round by appointments, the farm specializes in offering children's guided tours covering everything from bee keeping to hand-milking a cow.”
In addition, Erin, a long-time De Soto resident, close friend, neighbor, and fellow blogger had this to add about the history of Zimmerman’s Barn,
“.......The unique 1880 timber-framed barn was originally built on the White farm in rural Johnson County, now owned by Ernest Waitzmann. Daryl Zimmerman and a group of volunteers dismantled and moved the barn to Kill Creek Farm, about 7 miles away. The farm, owned by Zimmerman, is dedicated to "Maintaining the Rural Heritage of Johnson County" and plays host to more than 6,000 visitors annually.”
Erin is an incredible photographer and to see more of her pictures of the destruction, feel free to visit her blog, The Little Things in Life.
Although not locals, my husband and I have come to love being a part of the fabric of our tiny town over the past eight years and have participated in many of the events held at Zimmerman’s Barn.
Each year, Chris and I take our little ones out to Zimmerman’s for the annual Fall Harvest Festival. Even though this pumpkin patch isn’t as elaborate of activity-filled as other area patches, there’s just something about supporting your local economy that makes one feel good inside!
The following pictures were taken in October of 2006.
In April of 2009, I took Mary and Benjamin to the English Rose Lawn & Garden Show on the grounds of Zimmerman’s Barn. Inside the barn were the most beautiful wares…French soaps, handmade quilts, English pottery, etc. On the grounds behind the barn, local farmers and gardeners sold their spring plantings. I remember letting the little ones each pick out a Gerbera Daisy for purchase.
As you can see, this barn holds a special place in my family’s life. This summer, we had planned to hold Mary’s 6th Birthday Party at the farm…it was to be her first party with “friends”. Needless to say, Mary was quite upset when she learned of the destruction. Unfortunately, even though we drove by the barn to photograph the damage, she doesn’t quite grasp the magnitude of the destruction.
The local media has reported that the town wishes to help Mr. Zimmerman rebuild the town’s gathering spot, but in Mary’s mind, she thinks this will be done by August. :( It is my hope that whatever fundraising and barn-raising activities take place, my husband, children, and I can be a part of them so that we may leave our mark on restoring a piece of Americana/Kansas history.
P.S. If you notice on my blog header, I have a couple of pictures of the Zimmerman Barn. One is of the barn and windmill and the other of the Emerald City sign I discovered tacked up inside the barn! I thought these were appropriate pictures since my Kansas-born daughter is such a Wizard of Oz fan!