What do you think about that big barn?
-That's a big 'un. -It is big.
MARK: 50 feet wide, 76 feet long, and 40 feet tall.
GRAHAM: Wow. That's a big one.
It's going to be a big week.
NARRATOR: Mark Bowe reclaims old cabins and barns.
He's keeping the pioneer spirit alive,
along with his team of modern-day pioneers.
[ Thudding ]
Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania -- in the Appalachian hills
of Schuylkill County, dairy farming is a way of life.
The Peaceful Valley Dairy Farm was a local institution.
This old dairy barn was the heart of the operation
for over a century.
The Barnwood Builders have come to save it
and give it a whole new life.
MARK: Pretty good-size little barn here.
GRAHAM: Well, you'll be able to tell what was original
and what was added on once you get in there.
Nice-looking logs, crown notches.
This is by far the biggest log structure I've ever seen.
Yeah, me, too.
It does have a nice roof on it.
-Oh, boy. -Uh-oh.
Man, it's going to be dangerous.
-Yes, it is. -It is dangerous.
When you touch this thing, it might fall down.
So I think the question here is, to tag or not to tag?
This pin right here looks like the first four logs are damaged.
SHERMAN: Yeah, you know what, Mark?
The chances are, you'd want to renotch it anyway,
so I don't know if I'd even tag it.
NARRATOR: Tagging is a crucial part of the process
but only if they're going to restore the barn
in its original form.
In this case, Mark has a tough decision to make.
MARK: If you tag this,
you're going to have a face of about 8 inches there,
and then you're going to have a 9-inch chinking.
So this is all going to have to be lowered.
And then the other thing is,
you got some logs that are bowed.
NARRATOR: They won't tag it, but there's still good news.
You know what though?
Based on the amount of lumber that's in here,
the amount of logs, this will be all the replacement logs
we need for the entire year.
ALEX: If we can get it down safely, right?
I mean, in one building especially
if the sleepers are good downstairs.
That'd be awesome, man.
JOHNNY: In the milking parlor.
MARK: Man, this is bad news, right here.
This is bad news.
GRAHAM: See this one here, broke in half there.
Sleeper log snapped in half there.
NARRATOR: These sleeper logs aren't worth saving.
What's worse, their condition puts the guys at risk.
MARK: There's a lot of factors that make this barn really dangerous,
one of them being that it's really tall,
and it's really big, and it's really heavy.
Let's put this in perspective.
Let's just say that there's easily
30,000 board feet of lumber up there, all right,
30,000 board feet of oak.
Oak weighs approximately 4 pounds a board foot,
so that means there's 120,000 pounds up there,
60 tons of log...
And us underneath of it.
You want to go outside and talk about it?
-Yeah. Yeah, let's go. -Yeah, I'm going out.
No wonder it's leaning, and everything is broke.
SHERMAN: Yeah, I'll go outside with you.
We'll talk about it out there.
NARRATOR: Johnny, Graham, and Tim are upstairs
where the discoveries are a bit more heartening.
MAN: Pretty neat.
This has been a dairy barn.
"They came to visit, not to stay,
returned our bottles every day."
MARK: What'd you think about it in there?
I'll tell you what, if you think the upstairs looks dangerous,
y'all should just stay up there.
It's bad news downstairs, man.
So even though we're not going to tag this thing,
it's going to give us spare parts
and inventory for the rest of the year.
Yep. Just think what you can do with them 30-footers.
NARRATOR: The goal is to get all these beautiful logs
out of this dangerous barn
and onto a truck back to The Boneyard.
Well, you want to see if your equipment will start up, Johnny?
Get me some ether.
[ Laughter ]
It's a fan that I had to get going
which don't really work very good,
but it's better than nothing.
GRAHAM: We're coming up here to take off all these lightning rods
and this weather vane that's right here.
Cool weather vane, it's got the old cow on it,
a part of the old globe for the lightning rod,
which we're going to go after these next,
but there's a intact blue one
and it looks like two white ones,
if you look down the top of the ridge there,
that you can see.
NARRATOR: Lightning rods protected barns by redirecting
electrical strikes down a cable buried in the ground.
A broken bulb was an indicator that a building had been struck.
SHERMAN: The lightning rods are basically to keep your barn
from catching on fire in case lightning did strike.
It's just a memento, and some people likes them
just because they're old, you know?
I just like them because they're pretty cool.
NARRATOR: This dairy barn is covered by old barn boards
that aren't worth saving.
Beneath these outer sheds, the two huge log pens
will supply Mark's business with over 75 replacement logs.
To get to the logs,
they have to remove the fragile sheds in sections
starting in the front, then the side and around the back.
The roof will be the last to go.
I'm not sure how it's going to go, but I'm sure of one thing --
It's gonna be a mess.
Gonna be a mess.
NARRATOR: Messy and dangerous.
MARK: Well, right now, I'm just a little bit nervous
that all the logs are going to come tumbling down,
and then we're going to have a situation
where we have to get in there to hook
to those logs and drag them out, so there's a real danger factor
of this whole building collapsing.
Once we get this front off, Johnny will be able to get
a little bit closer to get to the roof.
He's doing a good job picking it apart.
You can grab the bottom of it
over on that wall and take it out.
So the way that we're taking this apart right now
is just kind of peeling all the support out
from underneath of the front section,
and then we'll do the same thing on the back,
and that'll really start to weaken up that roof,
and then Johnny will be able to get closer
so that he can pick the roof off a little safer.
Just let her out.
What was it like to work here?
I liked it.
I liked everything about it.
MARK: This thing was built in 1840, and since then,
that's the first time that this pen has actually seen
the light of day, so the patina,
the color, everything about this is perfect.
Those are good-looking logs. There's a lot of oak.
They're all oak from what I see, big and solid logs.
NARRATOR: But all these good-looking logs
are wrapped inside a dangerous structure.
ALEX: You got to get rid of all the junk.
It's like peeling an egg.
You know what I mean?
The good stuff is in the middle.
Let's take a post off of it.
Go ahead and bring it off of her.
NARRATOR: The guys stay out of the barn
while Sherman and Johnny find the safest way to take it down.
MARK: Hey, let's take a rest!
JOHNNY: Like that!
It came off good.
You never know what it's going to do.
Sometimes, it works just right.
MARK: All the sheds are off, and I think when we look
at this corner over here
and some of the other damaged areas,
it really reconfirms the taking it down for parts and pieces
as opposed to trying to rebuild it.
The bad news is, it's really unstable.
Before, when we were in there,
we didn't know how dangerous it was,
but now that we can actually see it,
we know that this is bad as Jesse James up there right now.
[ Clatters ]
Usually, what happens is, Johnny makes all the good mess,
and then we have to come behind him and clean up.
It's like having a kid, but that makes a huge mess.
I mean a big mess, like a monster mess,
and then it takes six guys running around behind him
to clean up.
[ Thunk ]
GRAHAM: Johnny has all the fun making the mess,
and then we have to clean it up!
I guess something about being senior,
top of the totem pole, Mark's longest employee.
He always gets employee of the week, too.
I don't know.
Sometimes, it pays to be old and wise.
Alex, how good is Johnny at making messes?
I'd give him a 9.3.
I had to dock him a little bit
because sometimes he helps clean up.
Does he get two stars and a smiley face?
I used to get in trouble for making a mess,
but now I just get paid money.
-Hey, guys. -Hi, Mark. -Hi, Mark.
MARK: It's always nice when we get a chance
to talk to the property owners before we take the barn down
so we can appreciate the history
and try to understand what it was like
to get up at 4:30 or 5 in the morning and milk the cows
and do whatever else you had to do.
Hey, buddy, how are you?
We moved here 1948, and we've been here since 70 years.
Seventy years, man, my guess is,
that means y'all have been here all of yous.
That's for sure. Yep.
That's for sure.
We were born and raised here, so it means a lot to us.
What was it like to work here?
I liked it. I liked everything about it.
I built the dairy.
I put in the machinery, and I bottled milk.
Children would come after school for ice cream.
We sold fruit punch and lemonade.
MARK: This barn was the centerpiece of an entire dairy operation,
and so people from all over this county
came over to buy the milk from here.
It was their minimarket, I guess.
We appreciate y'all coming over and saying hi.
We appreciate you being here.
I love hearing the stories about what...
-Thank you. -...it was like, man.
This is awesome.
Man, I can promise you though, this thing is going to live on,
and we're going to build something cool out of it.
I'm looking forward to seeing it.
SHERMAN: You just ruptured a tire, I think.
JOHNNY: That's not good.
NARRATOR: The Barnwood Builders are taking down
a 200-year-old milk barn and making a mess.
ALEX: It won't be long now if they start taking that roof down,
or Johnny will.
I'm going to hide and watch.
JOHNNY: Try to get up under the rafters and the sheeting
and just pull everything this way,
take two or three lifts, see what happens.
It might not happen, but we'll see.
SHERMAN: Now, back up with it. Pick it.
Alright. Now come around here!
I'd be much more nervous if we were taking it down for salvage.
See the whole roof is collapsing there?
Whole thing just falling in on itself.
Alright. That's what we needed to happen.
At least it come down. [ Laughs ]
Little messy but ain't no problem.
He going to try to lift it out of there now.
That log is going to fall as soon as he picks it up.
It's going to fall right on this milk house just like that.
Johnny, lean that machine this way.
Oh, oh! Now, pick it.
Bring it on, baby. Bring it on.
Bring it to you!
Alright. Just pull loose.
Raise it, raise it.
JOHNNY: I'm doing it.
NARRATOR: When they're planning to rebuild a barn,
Johnny might remove the roof in one big piece...
NARRATOR: ...or he might roll the tin up nice and neat.
MARK: That's the old Johnny burrito.
I'd like sour cream and guacamole.
NARRATOR: But on a parts barn,
he doesn't have to be so delicate.
You just ruptured a tire, I think.
Take it to the road!
ALEX: That's what got him.
He got up on that.
I busted a tire.
I figured it was foam-filled but evidently not.
So we got to get somebody to fix the tire.
That's not good.
MARK: Johnny got a flat tire, so we've got to get Max in there.
We're going to have a boom truck.
We're going to have a bunch of hillbillies.
We're going to use muscle power, hydraulic power,
just no Johnny power right now.
NARRATOR: A telescopic forklift can push and pull,
but a boom truck can only lift.
So Sherman will try to remove the rest of the roof
by strapping up the top log of the barn.
-Stop. -Perfect. Let's get out of here.
Yeah, everybody out.
MARK: We're hoping that that log will pull out,
and it'll take the roof with it.
So right now, the real test is going to see
if he can pick that up.
We've got a lot of reach there.
We got 84 foot of stick, but we don't have
a lot of weight capacity to be able to pick it up,
and that roof is a lot of weight.
ALEX: It's looking dangerous right now.
I don't think it can pick it up.
Narrator: The entire top log and the remaining roof
is too much weight for this boom truck.
So the foreman tries a different tactic.
Cable up a little bit!
I unstrapped the log, now just got the rafters.
MARK: Our boom truck is really small.
It's intended to be able to stack buildings,
not to be able to demo buildings,
and so it's got a lot of reach,
but it doesn't have a lot of lift.
Hey, there we go. We got some action now.
NARRATOR: The rafter pulls free but leaves the roof behind.
MARK: Well, I guess when you got a flat tire,
and your crane is not big enough
to pick up the amount you needed to pick up,
you just got to go with good old man power.
You know, they used it to put it up,
so we'll use it to take it down.
Hey, Alex, Travis, let's get us three boards
and push on this before we get excited.
Go right through them rafters.
-Ugh! -Let's go.
NARRATOR: This is not the way they wanted to take down this barn,
but in this case, it's the only option.
Felt pretty awesome.
Hillbilly ingenuity and hillbilly hydraulic,
Ain't that wonderful?
We need to get out of here.
NARRATOR: The best news is, they get out just in time.
-Yeah, baby. -Whoo-hoo!
Ready to take logs down.
We're going to call it a day.
MARK: They would've had all the canisters in there.
This is early-pioneer refrigeration right here.
I like fresh milk. I like processed milk.
I like skim milk.
I like two percent.
I like chocolate milk from brown cows.
[ Moos ]
I like it when you freeze it and make ice cream out of it.
That's the best milk.
I like milk.
NARRATOR: The Barnwood Builders save all kinds of barns --
hay barns, tobacco barns...
JOHNNY: Got a good color to it.
-Yeah. -Oh, yeah.
NARRATOR: ...and some amazing bank barns.
MARK: So this is a classic Pennsylvania bank barn.
You drive the wagons in on the upstairs,
and it was built on a bank
so that the animals could be stored downstairs.
NARRATOR: This week, they're saving a dairy barn.
But right now, they're the ones that need saving.
MAN: Hey, there's a tire truck right here!
JOHNNY: We got the forks back up and got the tire fixed
and ready to do what I do best.
SHERMAN: Johnny Jet,
I want you to go right over there by that building.
He's going to set these logs right on them forks.
[ Starts engine ]
SHERMAN: Having two machines working here, the boom truck
and the forklift going, it's, like, twice as quick.
It's like having Doublemint gum in your mouth.
[ Chuckles ]
Set her right on these forks.
Max is kind of at our mercy because he can't see everything,
and he's operating the crane.
Johnny can see what he's doing,
and he's not having to wait on anybody to strap for him.
Johnny is reaching the forks up here,
and Max is just setting them on the forks
and then booming down.
Working out pretty good.
MARK: This is the kind of morning
you want to start off with, you know?
You've got Max on the crane, Johnny on the forks.
Team is down here unloading and organizing.
Team is up there strapping.
This is the way it's supposed to work, right here.
We got an assembly line going on, like a team.
[ Groans ]
SHERMAN: Everybody's busy.
Graham's strapping, Tim unstrapping, Alex unstrapping,
Johnny taking logs, and I'm doing nothing,
pointing, and hollering.
I'm getting to where I really like it.
Okay, Max, tighten up!
TIM: Johnny, hey!
Well, today, I guess my job is the chaos organizer,
so as they bring them off,
I put them in the correct piles for now.
It's easier to load a truck
when you put like sizes in the same pile.
So we'll stack the 17 footers in one pile and the 30s in another,
and this is going to help speed up the load.
NARRATOR: The Peaceful Valley Dairy Farm is full of pioneer-era history.
MARK: So let's say you're in the 1800s.
You couldn't really have a dairy farm
unless you had a place that you could keep your milk cool,
and so this stone building, it served that purpose.
It's got thick walls.
It's, like, 2 feet thick,
and if you look over here, there's a spring.
Right here, you can see where the spring is just bubbling up,
and it flows right through that hole in the stone.
They would've had all the canisters in there,
and water would've just flowed right over it,
so once you milk cows, and you want to store them,
maybe you don't sell it for a couple of days.
You've got to be able to have a way to keep everything chilled,
so this is early pioneer refrigeration, right here.
You know, in addition to keeping your milk cold,
the pioneers figured out a way to store their vegetables,
and they did it in this root cellar.
Look at this thing.
This is really cool, built back into and under the ground,
a 2-foot-thick wall,
and this is where they would've just kept all the vegetables.
This would've kept everything for a year, you know?
This would've been a year's supply worth of food in here.
This is the harvest.
You can see that the air is coming out of here cool.
This is a perfectly still day,
but all these cobwebs have a little bit of motion to them,
and it's because this cold air is just coming rushing out here
with the hot air that's outside.
It's a great way to store your fruits and vegetables.
Man, how'd you like to do this and call it a pantry?
Both sides of the board have the groove,
and then there's a spline, this little piece right here.
Can I see your muscles?
I'd really like to see them.
Afraid you'd have to...
You had to look a few years ago before you seen my muscles.
No, let me see it. You got tremendous biceps.
Look at that.
You are shredded, man.
It's all went under here.
I used to have a muscle.
No, you still got them.
You keep busy every day.
That's what does it.
Watch that thing. It'll hurt you.
I'm telling you.
Remember his guns?
Huh? 20 years ago, all shaped, but y--
Sherman looked like a skinned squirrel,
and you had them great old big bulging arms.
Man, oh, man, them was the days, now.
I don't need all that stuff now.
I don't need that now.
I do this.
There's no reason. Yeah.
I do this.
Oh, there's no reason.
I mean, it just takes very little muscle to do this.
If you keep doing that, and he keeps doing this,
we'll be all right, man?
Yeah, I mean, I love them young guys.
I'm telling you what, I love them young guys.
[ Laughs ]
One pen down, one more pen to go!
This job is making progress.
That's what we like to see.
NARRATOR: When these guys get in a groove,
they work like a well-oiled machine.
It's going good, going good, making progress.
ALEX: This heat is hot.
It's kind of warm out here.
I ain't... I don't think it's that hot.
It's just muggy.
It's sweaty, hot, dripping off of me.
Feel like I'm in a sauna.
ALEX: Y'all getting that sunshine.
Look at him standing down there in the shade, all cool.
He ain't got a drop on him yet.
I'm dry as a bone, buddy, a bone in a bucket of water.
Hey, man, West Virginia?
Now, ain't that something?
Alright. This is it.
It's the last cabin log.
JOHNNY: There you go.
Last log, Johnny!
NARRATOR: These old logs will get a new life,
but some things just aren't worth saving.
The last thing they will salvage are these weathered
and worn floorboards.
GRAHAM: Quality of these floorboards going to be good, I think.
With the fact that they're so thick,
there's a lot you could do with them.
Set these two down right there.
Heads up, Tim.
These floors are held in by nothing but gravity really.
There's no nails.
There's a few pegs holding them down.
Got a bunch of floorboards, big old thick ones, too, like,
3 inches thick, pretty nice.
That'll look good on somebody's wall
or in somebody's floor or a piece furniture --
do a lot of stuff with it.
MARK: What I love about these floors is that they're about 2 1/2
to 3 inches thick
and the fact that they're wide, and it's a splined floor,
which means it's not tongue-and-groove.
Both sides of the board have the groove,
and then there's a spline, this little piece right here.
That's called a spline,
and that spline goes into that grove,
and then another board butts up to it,
and it fits within that groove, and that's really nice
because you don't have to cut the tongue off
to be able to work with it.
So if you're going to build furniture out of this,
you get to retain more of this width.
You don't have to cut off the tongue and groove
because both sides are already flat.
I think when you get down to it, you know, this is actually
what you call the cream of the crop, pun intended.
[ Laughs ]
I mean, that's crazy.
This is a very, very well-built barn.
The homeowners wanted to save that trolley,
so the guys dug it out,
and it looks good, no damage done.
It's got Johnny's ponytail though.
Look here -- hay trolley with Johnny's locks.
Love me some Johnny.
NARRATOR: Pennsylvania is famous for bank barns --
giant structures built into hills
for access on two different levels.
Most timber-framed bank barns are built entirely of wood.
In nearby Lehigh Valley, this bank barn
is built with incredible stone walls.
This is a really beautiful early-1800s German bank barn.
It's very clear to me why this barn has lasted
as long as it has in the condition that it's in.
The foundation is incredible.
It's so thick. It's so beefy.
I mean, look at this wall right here!
This is at least 5 feet thick right here,
and then you've got this undercarriage here
with these beautiful tapered sleeper beams here.
Man, this is awesome -- all these Dutch doors.
So you would've had the functionality of the animals.
This is where they would've been, right?
This is where the animals came in, came out,
and this is where they were kept, they were fed.
Everything from up top was fed down below here to the bottom.
Man, this is great craftsmanship here.
This wall is 2 feet thick.
It is 40 feet long, and it is about 40 feet tall,
and it's stone all the way up to the gable,
so when you really get to stand here,
and you look and think about the size of this barn
and how much work it would've taken,
and I can tell looking at this corner right here,
this barn has never moved.
It's never been shaken.
It's got a great roof on it.
Look at this archway right here.
This was the carriage entrance to the barn,
but you have this beautiful archway,
and this actually is called a keystone,
and we are in Pennsylvania, which is The Keystone State,
but the amount of effort that it took to bring this together,
tie it all in, in the early 1800s
just makes it that much more special to walk inside of.
I feel like this is medieval,
walking in here with these big, thick stone walls
and these big timbers overhead.
Man, this is really cool.
So if it's this nice on the outside,
it's got to be beautiful on the inside.
[ Door creaks ]
Man, this is nice.
This is a very, very well-built barn.
There's a lot of detail in here.
Built-in ladders on both sides,
got a lot of wormy chestnut in it.
One thing I notice about the grainery boards here
is that everything is recessed.
And so that it stays flush all the way down,
and they've removed these boards,
but you can tell just how much work they put into it
by recessing it into this timber right here.
They didn't just nail it to the face of it,
and then when it got over here to this post,
they completely carved it out so that all this remains flush,
and even whenever they did the mortice and tenon,
they actually put a cut right here at an angle
so that the peg didn't have all of the weight.
You don't want to put the weight of this beam
and have it be held together just by a pin over 100 years,
and they knew to recess this
and create a little lip here on both sides.
They even did it at an angle.
I mean, that's crazy,
and the reason they did it on an angle
is because it removed the least amount of wood possible,
but it also allowed for the structural stability.
After couple hundred years, this barn hasn't moved, man,
and think about the weather in the last 200 years --
everything from tornadoes to windstorms, snowstorms,
and this barn is standing just as true now
as when it was built in the early 1800s.
Look at this signature right here.
I just noticed that.
That's the signature of the guy that built
this barn in the 1800s, and here's a date.
It's...There's a one, an eight, a one,
and I can't make out if that's a seven or a one,
but either way, if it's got a one, an eight,
another one and then any other number, it's old.
There is just no comparison
to the craftsmanship of those German pioneers
and the houses that we build today.
I'll take an old one every time, man.
♪ I hear the truck a-coming ♪
♪ It's rolling around the bend ♪
Why did the cowboy have a dachshund wiener dog?
Because somebody told him to get a long little doggy.
[ Laughs ]
JOHNNY: ♪ I hear the truck a-coming ♪
♪ It's rolling around the bend ♪
We're going to load up, going to load up.
That's a good thing.
Tomorrow we'll be on the road again.
[ Engines starts ]
Set them down.
NARRATOR: Thirty thousand board feet of logs,
thousands of square feet of floorboards,
tons and tons of wood: not one injury.
ALEX: Between a ton of logs and a ton of cows,
a ton of logs is heavier if they're oak,
but a ton of cows is heavier if they're Angus.
We got three generations coming. Hey, buddy.
You got it.
My little boy, Matthew.
That's a good handshake.
Well, we got the truck loaded.
Is it bittersweet to see it loaded and heading out?
No bitter. It is all sweet.
It's the end of the dairy farm
and the beginning of something new.
KEITH: I feel honored that they actually
came to take the barn down and that it will live on
because we have a lot of memories for it,
and now it's time for the barn to make memories
for somebody else.
And I know it's in good hands.
and that makes us sleep better at night.
That makes us feel better.
We're going to start packing up some tools,
but before we go, there was a few things
that the guys saved for you.
There's the original hay trolley
I think you guys were talking about.
Yeah. Oh, wow. Wow. That's nice.
And then there's all your lightning rods
that were on top of the barn.
-Oh, that's great. -Oh, my, yeah, that is.
MARK: Kenny and his two sons worked on this farm
for 50 years prior to our arrival,
and before that, the pioneers worked this farm
for another 100 years.
KENNY: Without this team, this wouldn't have been possible.
And I'll tell you what, without this team,
it wouldn't have last as long as it did,
so we appreciate all the effort you guys
put into it for the past 50 years
making this a dairy farm and allowing
Peaceful Valley to, you know, have its own supply.
MARK: We're going to take these logs
and move them forward in their honor,
and I think that when it's all said and done,
they'll be proud of what we build out of this structure.