This barn from Wisner, NE was built in 1916 on a 120-acre plot owned by John Bohlig. It was one of the largest barns in the area at the time and was originally used for sheltering cows and horses. Unfortunately, the Depression hit the Bohligs hard, as it did thousands of other Midwestern farming families, and the bank threatened to foreclose on his farm in 1938. Mr. Bohlig refused to let the land go back to the bank and sold the property to his neighbor and good friend, Ray Johnson. Ray and his wife, Emma, and their 3 sons lived on the homeplace just south of the barn. Their son Warren lived and worked on the land with his wife and daughters for a number of years, using the barn as a place for farrowing (birthing) hogs. In the 1970s Warren sold the property to his brother Robert, and today it is run by Robert’s sons.
Since the barn was no longer being used, the Johnsons decided to bulldoze the nearly 100-year-old structure in order to turn the space into workable farmland. Now reduced to a heap of lumber, the barn sat in a pile waiting to be burned. We’re grateful to the Johnson family for allowing us to reclaim this timber and, in turn, keep the barn’s memories alive.
For Barnwood Trays purposes, this barn has been retired.