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Archive for Friday, May 14, 2010

Historic barn in De Soto destroyed during storm

The barn at Zimmerman’s Kill Creek Farm was destroyed during a storm with high winds late Wednesday night. In 2000, Darrel Zimmerman, owner of the farm, and a group of volunteers began tearing down and moving the 120-year-old barn from Gardner.

The barn at Zimmerman’s Kill Creek Farm was destroyed during a storm with high winds late Wednesday night. In 2000, Darrel Zimmerman, owner of the farm, and a group of volunteers began tearing down and moving the 120-year-old barn from Gardner.

May 14, 2010

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For 10 years the barn at Zimmerman’s Kill Creek Farm has been a lot of things to a lot of people. It was a place for reuniting families to come together. A place for a man and woman to be united in matrimony. A place to get fresh vegetables from local farmers. A place to bring your children to pick the choicest pumpkins for carving.

But after Wednesday night’s storm, the De Soto landmark is no more.

“There is literally no hope for this (barn),” Darrel Zimmerman, owner of Kill Creek Farm, said. “I always figured the barn would outlast me.”

Dee Mandich, Zimmerman’s daughter, was at the home next to the barn about 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, when high winds hit the area around Kansas Highway 10 and Kill Creek Road.

Historic barn destroyed by storms

The Big Red Barn near De Soto holds many memories for area residents, but Wednesday's storms took down the barn. Enlarge video

“The whole house was shaking,” she said. “It sounded like the end of the world.”

In 2000, Zimmerman and a group of community volunteers began tearing down, transporting and then rebuilding a 120-year-old barn from Gardner.

For the next five months, the group worked hard to restore the barn.

“Even though I own the property, the barn belonged to the community,” he said. “It was the community that restored the barn.”

The barn was a popular place for community events, including a gathering for area chambers of commerce in April.

The barn was a popular place for community events, including a gathering for area chambers of commerce in April.

Mandich began calling people who had reserved the barn for a special occasion to inform them what had happened. The barn had been rented each weekend for the next nine weeks for weddings, reunions or graduation parties. Zimmerman was especially upset that an organization raising money to combat cystic fibrosis was going to auction off the use of the barn in a fundraiser, but now they would have to be taken off the auction list.

Throughout the day Thursday, a steady stream of people from the community stopped by to survey the damage and to check on the family and see whether there was anything they could do.

“It’s just devastating to the community,” said Mitra Templin, a De Soto City Council member. “It was something that we all took pride in.”

A sign-up sheet was started for people wanting to help in the cleanup and possible restoration of the barn.

Comments

imastinker 3 years, 11 months ago

What a shame. I've been out there a few times and met Darrel and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

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reversehecht 3 years, 11 months ago

We had our wedding reception there a few years ago and LOVED it. We are so sorry for what happened. Since it helped make lasting memories for us, we will be there to help restore, clean-up, or build again.

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kungfumastah 3 years, 11 months ago

He was my Earth Science teacher in middle school. Best of luck to you, Mr. Zimmerman.

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none2 3 years, 11 months ago

I never knew the significants of this barn, but I've always thought it was a nice barn. When I do go to Johnson County, I typically avoid the rat race on part of K-10 and just get on it from Kill Creak Road in Desoto. This barn is right next to that exit onto K-10. I wish him best of luck for rebuilding. I do wonder how a storm can destroy that building and not the other homes around it. There are lots of residential homes nearby. However, I guess that is part of the unpredictability about storms.

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