There’s something about a barn…

wrote Marion Ketchum, in a series of short stories about Gilroy. 

She goes on to say;

We who were kids in the Twenties (1920’s) had an advantage that today’s youngsters can’t possibly understand.  We were all personally acquainted with at least one barn.  We remember as though it were yesterday; the big “Mail Pouch Tobacco” sign painted on the roof, the high, rough walls with knotholes for the sun to shine through, the cobwebs draped from the rafters, the smell of old leather and warm, sweaty horses, the harness hanging from a nail, the pitchfork leaning against the wall, the clouded windowpanes that no one ever bothered to wash.

When we were young, we didn’t think much about barns.  Practically everyone had one, and we simply took them for granted.  It’s different today.  Within the last decade barns have been coming into their own.  We look at them now with nostalgia.  Artists immortalize them on canvas.  Photographers snap them for calendars and magazine covers.  Barns represent a way of life that is fast disappearing.

What a sad day when automobiles began replacing buggies, and barns began to be torn down to make way for garages.  Soon most folks will have forgotten what a barn even looks like.  But for the moment, here in Gilroy, at least one barn still stands.  If you’d like to show it to your grandchildren before it’s too lake, walk down 4th Street between Church and Rosanna and look down the alley.  There you’ll see it, in all its glory – red paint and all!  But take our advice; Go Soon, and look quickly, or before you can blink your eyes, this grand old building may be torn down too, in the name of progress.  And you may never find another.Marion K.

Marion Ketchum; Born September 3, 1911 in Richmond, California, Died July 14, 2001 in Gilroy, California.  Short stories originally published in the Gilroy Senior Center Newsletter between 1979 and 1985. Collection published July 20, 1992.

I’m afraid that it is too late to see the barn at 4th street, but the citizens of Gilroy, the Santa Clara County Historical Commission, and The Miller Red Barn Association, have made sure that Gilroy will never be without a barn. 

If you have been sheltering in place during this Covid-19 nightmare, then you may not have seen the tremendous transformation that is taking place at The Miller Red Barn.  The next time you are out for a drive, walk, run, or stroll head over to the Ranch Side of Christmas Hill Park.  You will be amazed at the changes that have taken place!  The Barn has a new roof, new siding, new structural improvements inside, a new concrete floor inside, and new doors.  Currently, you can look through the fence and see almost all of the improvements that have taken place.  The trailer and the old house that are in back of the Barn will soon be gone as well, courtesy of the City of Gilroy.   If you don’t think you will make it over to the Barn any time soon, check out The Miller Red Barn Photo Gallery  on the Reconstruction tab for a visual step by step progress report.


I hope that you enjoyed seeing the progress that has been made in the Reconstruction of the Barn.  Thank you for your support.

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If you have not read all of the Under the eaves… stories, and would like to “catch up” they are posted on our website. 

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