A bit of Iowa has been brought to Sonoma County in the form a century-old barn being reassembled near Geyserville.
Josh Chandler, a winemaker, architect and general contractor, last week began putting together the 1909 Midwest barn on his eight-acre ranch.
His acquisition is part of a movement to save antique, hand-built barns, considered a slice of American history. Valued for their Old World craftmanship, they represent a vanishing era of family farms.
A New Old Barn In Geyserville
Randy Rooker of Bend, Oregon with some of the timber frame beams for a barn being reconstructed in Geyserville. April 22, 2011.
Randy Rooker measures a timber beam for the frame of the barn behind him in Geyserville. April 22, 2011.
(from left) Randy Rooker, Salvadore Almaza, Lorin Hayden and Grey Chandler, 11, fit beams together for a barn being reassembled for a winery building for Grey's dad, Josh Chandler in Geyserville. April 22, 2011.
Randy Rooker and Lorin Hayden are from Bend , Oregon and they specialize in reconstructing old barns. The bar being reconstructed in Geyserville was taken apart in Iowa. April 22, 2011.
(from left) Lorin Hayden, Salvadore Almaza and Randy Rooker fit the timber framer together for a reconstructed barn in Geyserville. April 22, 2011.
Grey Chandler helps Lorin Hayden move a beam on a sawhorse so it can be trimmed for a barn in Geyserville. April 22, 2011.
Architect Josh Chandler in his office. He is rebuilding a barn from Iowa on his vineyard property in Geyserville. April 25, 2011.
View of the barn from Iowa that is being rebuilt in Geyserville. April 25, 2011.
Salvadore Almaza working barn from Iowa that is being rebuilt in Geyserville. April 25, 2011.
View looking east of the barn from Iowa that is being rebuilt in Geyserville. April 25, 2011.
Josh Chandler is working on a barn from Iowa that is being rebuilt on his Geyserville property. April 25, 2011.
Corner view of the barn from Iowa that is being rebuilt in Geyserville. April 25, 2011.
"It's a part of American heritage. If I can bring this to me and save this, rebuild it so it lasts another 200 years, it's better than removing, or burning, or turning it into flooring," Chandler said Thursday.
The barns, he said, "have appeal that's both beautiful and historic."
With the help of a mechanized "reach lift," he and three workers, including two expert framers, had just erected the timbers that will serve as one side of the barn.
Ever so gingerly, the structure was raised and lowered onto its new foundation.
The wood outline served as a huge picture frame of sorts for the backdrop of green hills, blue sky, white puff clouds, and Geyser Peak.
Chandler rhapsodized about the uniqueness of the pine and oak timber frames.
"There is a guy who hand-cut every piece of wood, way-back-when, with a saw," he said, noting "the effort and the labor and what has happened in the barn."