Walt's Look Around: Rolling Fork "Red Barn" - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: Rolling Fork "Red Barn"

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The Red Barn stood on Highway 61, just south of Rolling Fork. The Red Barn stood on Highway 61, just south of Rolling Fork.
One spring morning a couple of years ago, it “laid down.” (Source: Janie Fortenberry) One spring morning a couple of years ago, it “laid down.” (Source: Janie Fortenberry)
The model itself is an exact replica to scale of the old barn. The model itself is an exact replica to scale of the old barn.
ROLLING FORK, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

An old landmark is back, in a way; in a ‘small' way. The huge ‘Red Barn' at Rolling Fork collapsed a couple of years ago. A new miniature version was unveiled this week at the Sharkey County courthouse, but the original building will be missed for a long time to come.

The Red Barn stood on Highway 61, just south of Rolling Fork. It was 2/3rds the length of a football field.

One spring morning a couple of years ago, it "laid down" as its collapse has been described. Today, the silos are the only reminder it ever stood there.

The barn was built by Bernard Graft in 1918 and, needless to say, it had become a landmark in Sharkey County; indispensable as a guidance tool according to Sharkey County Board of Supervisors President Bill Newsom.  

"It's a place we gave directions off of each and every day," said Newsom.  

"Well when you get to the red barn if you just take a left, or when you pass the red barn...," said Sharkey County Circuit and Chancery Clerk Marinda Williams. "So, it's been a sense of direction for us in this community for forever, forever."

Williams and was one of the participants in a ceremony at the court house in Rolling Fork this week, as a scale model of the beloved old Red Barn was unveiled.

Jackson miniature maker and member of the Mississippi Craftsman Guild, Billy Jones, was commissioned by Ben Lamensdorf of Rolling Fork to build the model for the community.

Ben says everybody in the county related to the Red Barn in some way, and the spirit of it needed to be preserved.  

"I don't know, anything that pulls people together helps," said Lamensdorf.

Baskin Perry was one of the first people to see the collapsed barn that day. He used to play in it when he was a child. A neighbor called him and told him the barn had fallen in.  

"Well, we went down there and that's when the memories started coming back about the years-past when you spent so much time," said Perry.

"The model itself is an exact replica to scale of the old barn, down to the number of doors and windows. It's even made from wood salvaged from the barn. It took Billy Jones several months to complete it.  

"I really like Mr. Lamensdorf and wanted to do a good job for him," said Jones.  

It is a little bit of history, remarkably preserved. To people coming along it will be just a representation of a grand old structure that used to be here at Rolling Fork.

But to those people who grew up with it, this model is a representation of something that will always be within them, in their hearts even.

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