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Ohio barn from 1795 gets new life as a home in Swan Valley


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SWAN VALLEY— An old barn from Ohio is getting a second chance at life in eastern Idaho by being transformed into a home.

The barn came from Mansfield, Ohio, and was built in 1795. Currently, it’s being raised in Swan Valley by The Antique Barn Company based in New Hampshire.

“When you look at the old barn frame (and) you look at the beam, it’s large. It gives you a warm, comfort feeling. I never get bored of it. I love it,” said Donald Polaski, owner of The Antique Barn Company.

Polaski said he has been raising barns for about 27 years. Barn raising is known as erecting the framework of a barn and his business has turned barns into not only homes but wedding venues and restaurants.

“First thing we do is clean off the barn. Then we tag all the timbers and then we do a set of measurements. Then we will go through the process of dismantling the barn in the opposite order when they raise the barn and when the frame is down, we will truck it to our shop. It is there that we do the full restoration work where we’ll restore the beams,” Polaski explained.

Michael Newman, the owner of the barn, told that it’s a dream come true for him.

“It’s going to be fun to put this thing together. I can’t believe these things are 240-years-old and now we are probably going to save this for another 200 years,” said Newman.

Newman said he has worked with Polaski in the past and has a barn next to the one that is being built that is also from Ohio. Polaski helped raise it for him.

“I just think they are one-of-a-kind. It’s not your cookie-cutter house and it’s just history. Think of the craftsmanship that went into them,” he said.

Newman is originally from Idaho Falls. He lived and worked in Ohio for several years, then he moved back to Idaho to wrap up his career together and retire.

“I just love it here and how these old antique barns would tie into the rustic setting of Swan Valley,” Newman said.

Polaski and his builders will be in Swan Valley finishing raising the barn until next week. Newman’s home is expected to be finished within the next year.

“I think it’s going to be gorgeous,” Newman said.