‘C’est l’amour’ is family heirloom


Salem Township’s “C’est l’amour”

Salem Township’s “C’est l’amour”


Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — Robert Kroeger, of Cincinnati, created 17 Shelby County barn paintings to raise awareness for historic barn preservation in November 2021. He then donated them to the County Wide Historical Alliance as a fundraising opportunity. A 2023 calendar and note cards were created with the images of the paintings.

The Alliance has announced the paintings will be going up for auction online during the month of July.

Salem Township “C’est l’amour”

“Our barn is 116 years old and we believe it will stand for another 116 years,” wrote Brent Clinehens, current owner and fourth generation of his family to own this farm. Judging from the many improvements they’ve made, Kroeger would have to agree with Brent: this barn will surely survive for another century.

Built in 1905, it represents the transition from hand-hewn timber-framing to a typical early 20th century approach to barn building – saw-cut beams, still connected with mortise and tenon joints and fastened with wooden pegs. Brent’s great-grandfather, George William Clayton, and his wife, Mary Matilda, were the founders. They raised dairy cows and sheep.

Eventually, the farm passed down to Bernard Clinehens and then to Brent in 2015. However, in 2010 when they stopped the dairy operation in favor of grain farming, they had to make a decision to either save the barn, change it to accommodate big machinery, or to replace it with a modern barn. They chose the former option, deciding to preserve their legacy.

Brent gave credit to Richard Tebbe, a creative remodeler and roofer, who had an idea to remove the old haymows and three load-bearing posts and replace them with a clever cable support system. Two new doors, both 16-feet high, provide enough room to house a 14-foot-high combine, which has two feet of vertical clearance. Voila, the old barn was once again functional, big enough for gigantic machines and grain storage.

Tebbe also covered the sides of the barn with steel siding and added a metal roof, making the barn virtually resistant to damage from all kinds of weather – snow, ice, and wind. These changes have allowed Brent to continue farming corn, soybeans, and wheat on his 180 acres.

Even though Brent and his father could have spent less by constructing a modern pole barn to house their machines, they decided to put their money into preservation of a family heirloom. Truly, as the French would say, c’est l’amour.

Paintings on display

The paintings have been on display at various community festivals and will be displayed at the Shelby County Fair at the end of July. The paintings will be located in the Bicentennial Traveling Museum that will be parked next to the Community Foundation Hall. The calendars and sets of 14 note cards will be available for sale for $15 each.

Each painting will be listed by lot number with a description. Opening bids will start at $50 and each subsequent bid will go up by $5. Bids can be made at TroyKies.hibid.com. There will be a total of 19 paintings auctioned off.

The auction will end on Friday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. The winners of the bids are to pick up their paintings on Saturday, July 30, between 1 and 3 p.m. at the Traveling Museum inside the Shelby County Fairgrounds or arrange a pickup at a future time with the Shelby County Historical Society.

For more information, contact the Shelby County Historical Society, 937-498-1653 or [email protected]

Salem Township’s “C’est l’amour”
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/07/web1_Lot-11-Salem-Twp-Cest-l-amour.jpgSalem Township’s “C’est l’amour” Courtesy photo