A Newlin Barn

Recently we visited family in Silk Hope, North Carolina where my husband, Randy, grew up. His family has farmed in that area since the mid-1700’s, up until my father-in-law retired three years ago.

This barn was built on the family farm back in 1944. It’s one of my favorite sights in Silk Hope. Set beside a winding country road, it marks the place where many a hay bale has been thrown.

Around those parts it’s called a Newlin barn, named after the builder Harvey Newlin. Harvey was a Quaker from nearby Eli Whitney, NC. His work can be seen peppering the landscapes throughout the area. My father-in-law says Harvey would show up, and doing all the math in his head, could tell you what supplies, down to the nail, would be needed to build the desired structure.

The barn is a lesson in symmetry. And for that, Harvey and I would have gotten along real well. I like things even.

I love the textures…

The tones…

The angles.

And I’m sure, if it could talk, I’d enjoy the tales it could tell too.

This day it was bitter cold, but Randy remembers many a hot day loading the barn with hay, and playing games with his brothers and cousins behind the bales.

This barn is solid.

And while it still stores a few hay bales today, primarily for me it stands as a work of art, a piece of history.

That Harvey Newlin done good.

He done real good.


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  1. 3

    Bobby says

    Hey there…I love this! There are few out there that understand how to put together a great photo essay…beautiful pictures with a great story! I love the angles and symmetry as well! ~BR

  2. 5

    Martha Vaughan says

    That is one beautiful structure! I love it and agree with you on the symmetry…that’s my style. Beautiful photos of a beautiful barn in a beautiful snow. btw, where is Silk Hope? I may have to get my Atlas out and study.

  3. 9

    TidyMom says

    I LOVE this Amy!! and your photos are incredible!! I’m a huge barn freak!! love ’em!

  4. 12

    Wenderly says

    Oooh, it’s breathtaking! I would just love to plop down in the middle of that barn and hear all that it has to say.

    A work of art indeed.

  5. 13

    SMITH BITES says

    LOVE IT AMY! I knew I would – just so beautiful and sooooo many stories to tell – that inside shot is something else!!!

  6. 14


    You had me at North Carolina. I spent 10 years in Raleigh, giving birth to both of my daughters and raising a young family before moving to Denver. Though I love it here now; it took a long while and I left a piece of my heart in the Carolinas. Your pictures were such a wonderful memory (though snow was a rarity but I do remember a day of two of in in those years!) and I love the story. I had heard of Newlin barns but had never actually seen one. Thank you!

  7. 15


    I love old barns, and this structure is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I love the inside shot–the ceiling beams are just beautiful.

    This makes me nostalgic for my grandparents’ farm, which held a barn built in 1903.

    Thanks for sharing these photos, Amy. You took some gorgeous shots!

  8. 18

    Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon says

    Not sure which I love more, the photos or the name of the town. Beautiful photos.

  9. 19


    I love barns, and this is a beauty. You did a great job of sharing its story with us. Happy New Year!

  10. 22


    Oh, gorgeous photos, Amy. It makes me think of the barn I grew up in and played in with my sisters and cousins. It’s gone now, but I would have loved to have gotten some cool pix. Tell Randy he’s a handsome man! Love ya — Happy New Year!

  11. 25

    Helen N. Bowers says

    Thank you for the wonderful tribute to my Grandfather Harvey Newlin. Wonderful pictures. This is one of the 153 barns he and his crew built.

  12. 26

    Cynthia Newlin says

    Just curious as to who wrote this? BTW…Harvey was my grandfather and I grew-up in Silk Hope where Harvey, my dad, uncles and various cousins were likely involved in the building of the barns.
    (I got this link from a cousin, Helen Bowers.)

  13. 27

    Barry Newlin says

    Harvey Newlin was my grandfather, he built 59 gambrel roof barns and 13 gothic roof barns. The last of this style of barn built by him was in the early 50’s and most of them are still standing and many still in use. I can look at a barn and tell if Grandfather built it by the roof lines. Yes the barn lofts were hot in the summer, memories of hay and cows are still etched in my mind.

  14. 29

    Brenda Marshall Johnson says

    Harvey Newlin built my dad’s barn and I loved to watch them at work.
    Friendly people. One of my best friends is his daughter, Helen.

  15. 30

    Frank Clark says

    Seeing these pictures brings back fond memories of the Newlins, especially my mother, Mary Ann Newlin Clark. Uncle Harvey visited our family often. Dressed in traditional Quaker attire, I partcularly remember his tall, black hats, he always had interesting stories to share. There is such a stong sense of family among the Newlins. It’s wonderful to see Newlin history, such as Uncle Harvey’s barn, being recognized and appreciated by younger generations. Beautiful countryside -great pictures!

  16. 31

    Brenda Marshall Johnson says

    Helen Bowers is Harvey’s grandaughter but I was thinking of her dad. I remember him so well and the good work he did. They both were good builders.

  17. 32

    Linda McVey says

    Thanks for sharing the pictures and information. Harvey Newlin was my great uncle so I am familiar with his barns. He was an amazing man with tons of history knowledge and a great geneologist. I loved to visit him and Aunt Nanny and have many fond memories of them. Thanks again for sharing.

  18. 33

    Kim Newlin says

    Harvey was my 1st Cousin once removed. Nice Barn, remids me of mine in Liberty, NC that my Grandfather Kimrey built around 1850!

  19. 34

    Craig says

    You are a poet with a camera lense. The top of the barn looks like a church ceiling.

    I agree, That Harvey Newlin done good.
    He done real good – so did you.

    Thank you for this today Amy, and God Bless and Keep you and yours.

  20. 35

    Sonya says

    I love pictures of old barns. When I was in high school an assignment for my photography class was old barns and I think that was by far my favorite assignment. I love the angles and the blue sky!!

  21. 37

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles says

    I heart barns. Your photos are stunning and your words are beautiful.

  22. 39

    Kim Hackenberg says

    Beautiful pictures! Brings back wonderful memories of my Grandfather’s barn in North Dakota. Thanks!

  23. 40

    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods says

    Lovely photos. This looks similar to the small North Carolina town where my fiance grew up (Laurinburg, NC).

  24. 41

    Bonnie says

    aaah…so nostalgic. I just love these pics Amy. Makes me want to make my way back to NY and the country.

  25. 43


    I love that barn. The structure is just filled with a sense of history. Your photos are gorgeous, and invoke such nostalgia. I love it!

  26. 46


    Love the photos. On the farm in Iowa where I grew up the barn was slightly different but still just as large and just as “barn lovely”!. When it was near empty the haymow (upper flower) provided many an afternoon of entertainment…roller skating (on rough boards!), basketball, hunting for the latest batch of kittens hidden somewhere amongst the remaining hay where they could be heard mewing when Mamma left the nest. Sadly, our barn burned down some years after the farm buildings became empty.

  27. 47

    Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says

    Simply beautiful, Amy! On our family travels around the US, we always brake for old barns and have even been known to sneak into them without asking just to take a look around. Their typically gorgeous post and beam construction, the collaborative spirit that so often went into their construction, and their connection to our American family farm heritage just always seems to resonate.

  28. 49


    These pictures are so beautiful. It made me a so nostalgic. My dad grew up in the mid-west and my grandfather’s hobby was taking pictures of old barns and then doing elaborate oil paintings from the snap shots. Thank you for the lovely photos and the sweet memories :)

  29. 50

    Carla says

    Better perserve it by giving it a coat of paint. Love old barns also, but it needs some upkeep to keep it looking good.

  30. 51


    GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS!! How many times do I need to say more so that u can understand how excited I am to see these photos?! Wondering where the hell was I before? Have know u for months now n only I get to know what a beautiful n talented photographer u are!

  31. 52

    Kankana says

    soo glad to find your blog! thanks to twitter .. you are such an amazing amazing photographer .. WOW .. just WOW ..
    I am a new blogger and still learning about photography .. have to say it almost like an addiction .. a beautiful one :)

  32. 53

    jessicaisbaking says

    just came across this through tasty kitchen and my word – I was born in Siler City and grew up in Chapel Hill. I’m in NJ now but fiercely miss NC. Thanks for a piece of home and the gorgeous photos. I am looking forward to exploring your blog!

  33. 59

    David Hobson says

    Because I am on the Newlin Reunion email list, I received the link to your blog and the pictures and comments around last Christmas about the Newlin barn. I also understand that it is part of Russell Johnson’s homeplace. I am also Past President of Silk Hope Ruritan Club and chair of the Program Book committee. Could we get permission to use (some) of the pictures and (some) of the commentary in this or perhaps some future year’s Program Book? If permission is granted, to whom should we give proper credit?
    I was pastor of Chatham Friends some years ago and became acquainted with Burton and Alfred Newlin and their families. Sadly, Mr. Harvey (Sr) died several years before I moved to that area. I did know his brother, Algie Inman Newlin, who taught history at Guilford College, and a sister, “Ila” N. Braxton, who is buried at Center UMC.

  34. 61

    Marjorie Lamb says

    Had a letter recently from my friend in North Carolina. She was/is a granddaughter of Harvey Newlin. When I was a little girl, Harvey used to visit my Grandparents in Ohio. I love looking at photos of these barns. Harvey was a very special person as well as a skilled builder.
    Marjorie (Hall) Lamb – now living in Ireland

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