Back in the old days, a barn was typically built by a couple hundred musclemen, said David Flaud, an Amish timber framer.

On Thursday, Flaud and about 20 workers used a hydraulic crane to lift beams 40 feet off the ground and build a roof on a new barn on Anthony Road in Washington Township, just north of East Berlin, Adams County. The heavy equipment provided a safer and more efficient way to move the beams to the top of the structure, he said.

"We used to push them up by hand," said Flaud, co-owner of Flaud Builders in Blair County. "My father was a timber framer. And my grandfather."

The building project should be done in roughly two weeks, said Jeff Stern, owner of the barn. The new structure replaces an 1891 bank barn that was struck by lightning and burned in July, he said.

Mose Lantz balances while pounding in a peg to join two beams Thursday in Washington Township. Lantz was part of an Amish company that is building a barn
Mose Lantz balances while pounding in a peg to join two beams Thursday in Washington Township. Lantz was part of an Amish company that is building a barn for Jeff Stern, whose more than 100-year-old barn burned in July. (Daily Record/Sunday News -- Bil Bowden)

"I like the bank barns ... the old way they were built," Stern said. "I am friends with an Amish guy and he recommended ... Flaud."

Stern, owner of JS Construction, helped work on the 3,800 square-foot barn he said will have an open floor plan and be used to store hay and farm equipment.

Loy Elliott of East Berlin said his family owned a similar barn in Iowa.

"I just stumbled upon this by accident," he said of the barn raising. With Stern's permission, Elliott -- who said he volunteers to do documentary work for the Land Conservancy of Adams County -- photographed the construction of the barn.

"This is for me," said Loy, 61. "I wanted to document them putting up a post and beam barn."

He said he'd never seen the Amish build a barn.


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"This is rare," he said. "I've been interested in this construction since I was a kid ... I've been a student, I guess, of barns."

Also of interest

· How many Amish have crossed the Norman Wood Bridge from Lancaster to York County?