Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wayne Feed Barn

This barn is on the turn just as you go into Coal City, Indiana.   I have no idea how long it's been there or what is in it now, but it grabs me every time I drive by.

Notice the double hung windows on either side and above the sign.    Were they installed when it was a feed store?

Maybe something really interesting happened there, like Kater Johns got shot by Bob Smith just as he finished delivering a load of hay because Kater had been stepping out with Bob's wife's baby sister. 

Or maybe Millie Scousan found a litter of puppies behind the lilac bush out back and the little black one won the dog show four years running.

Or maybe Mrs. Benedict, the preacher's wife, found out that her son was coming home from the war there.   The telegraph operator ran all the way from the train station to tell her. 

Maybe the Wayne family had to move into the top of the barn during the depression when their house burned down.   They were glad to have somewhere at all to go so they wouldn't be beholden to the neighbors.  They had two more children there and were finally able to move out into a nice house down the way in 1952.  Their youngest son became a doctor and he's the one who saved Kater John's life the day Bob shot him.

What's your story of what happened there?


  1. Before it was ever a feed barn, it was an actual barn housing animals. The original house, an old plantation-type house a half a mile away, burned one winter evening just before Christmas. But before that, Colonel Childers' farm and home became a stop on the underground railroad. A false wall was built above in the hayloft where folks hid until they could move on. After the house burned and much of the family died or moved, one of the freed slaves, Cletus Wayne, came back, purchased the old barn, and opened a feed store.


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