Great American Barns: Cravenhurst Barn

September 16, 2016 11:06 AM

This Great American Barn in Madison, Ind. has seen better days, but citizens are doing everything they can to return it to its former glory.

The Cravenhurst Barn served as a carriage house for a well-to-do family, headed by Senator James Cravens. The senator was elected to congress in 1841 as a member of the Whig party. Cravens was said to be a great debater and adamantly opposed slavery.

According to the Indiana Barn Foundation, the lower half of the barn was built with carved and placed stones. The upper portion is timber with vertical plank siding.

Members of the local Moose Lodge are trying to restore the building, which is believed to have been built in 1906.

“It’s part of the community,” said Louis Shields of the Madison Moose Lodge. “An old barn in Indiana, as you know, all of those are going by the wayside. I just want to see it saved for the boy scouts to meet.”

The barn sits on the Ohio River, with a straight shot of Kentucky across the water. The town was once a busy steamboat port, with historians saying at one time, Madison was bigger than Indianapolis.

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