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Giving an old barn new life

A Cumberland couple has given new life to a more than century old barn.

Carol Meinhard was born in England and spent several years in New York before moving to Virginia. She said she originally fell in love with the property on Cumberland Road back in 2000, especially the large barn on the property that was dated back to 1901.

Fate had other plans. The property already had a deposit on it. Carol stayed in the area, though, and eventually married her now husband, George Meinhard, a watermelon farmer and Cumberland native.

Carol has owned horses for 56 years, and when the Cumberland Road farm went back up for auction last November, she and George knew it would make the perfect location for their three beloved horses, Doc, Chips and Lakoda.

The property, especially the barn, needed a lot of work if it was going to house three lively horses, so the Meinhards enlisted the help of Dennis Lowe, owner of Lowe’s Roofing.

Lowe and his team spent many weeks working on the barn. All of the old siding had to be ripped off. Parts of the structure that were rotten had to be reframed. Sill plates had to be replaced, as did the roof. The barn’s original wood windows were restored and then reinstalled.

Several bouts of rain stalled the progress, but after a month of hard work and lots of chipped paint, the barn’s outside restoration was finished, breathing new life into a building time had all but forgotten.

The Meinhards have plans to restore the interior of the barn in the near future and are considering one day taking in rescue horses at the farm.

“I think it’s amazing to save the life of a barn,” Carol said, looking over the brand-new, bright-red building.

Photos by Alexa Massey