Backstory and Context
The Clymer family owned this property for several generations. It is believed that the barn dates to the pre-civil war era, making it one of the oldest barns on the Museum’s tour. Presumably, the barn was built by Charles Clymer. Records show that Charles owned the property as early as 1863, but the Clymer family was probably here at least 30 years earlier than that.
The traditional three bay barn is very heavily braced, and the main frame is almost entirely hand-hewn. The original roof system is in place and the pole rafters are visible. The queen posts—the vertical posts that sit on the cross tie and rise up to the purlin plate to support the roof—are vertical rather than canted. The vertical posts indicate an older barn. The rafter plates and purlin plates are all one piece (“one stick”) in length. A straining tie that once spanned the width of the barn was removed to make way for the hay track, probably sometime after the 1880’s. The original granary is extant, as well as the exterior tongue-and-groove siding.
The shed addition to the main barn is laminated plank construction and was probably added in the 1910’s or 1920’s to accommodate livestock. The unique brick floor in the rear of the barn is historically significant as well. The bricks originally lined the streets in Benton Ridge and were reused in the barn when the roads were paved with asphalt. Scott and Michelle Livingston purchased the property in 2011, and have taken several measures to preserve the historic structure.
Under the Clymer family’s ownership during WWII, this property was the site of a horrific plane crash. A U.S. Army B-25 that had taken off from Patterson Field in Dayton, crashed behind the barn on November 2, 1941. Four army servicemen and one civilian were killed in the crash. The plane hit the ground with such force that it immediately burst into flames and much of the debris was pushed deep underground. Remnants from the crash are still occasionally found in the adjacent field.
Hancock Historical Museum, Barn Tour Collection, 2015