Bryan Maurer restores antique barns
The large red barns across Somerset County are some of the oldest structures dotting the rolling landscape. They’re an important part of history, says Bryan Maurer.
Maurer, of Davidsville, works tirelessly each summer to restore these century-old structures and preserve the history within the aging lumber.
“Nobody appreciates it anymore,” Maurer says, gazing up at the new coat of red, like a rose.
“They just tear it down. Everything today in the modern world is throw away, throw away.”
Maurer sands each 50-foot-tall barn by hand and repaints it with just a 4-inch brush.
“There’s a lot of people who come in and spray, and that’s the wrong way to do it,” he says. “You have to do it the right way.”
The average size barn takes Mauer about a month to complete. Larger barns can take another two weeks.
Robin Cordek’s barn along East Campus Avenue in Davidsville is the home for her two horses. Maurer restored her barn last year.
Cordek recommended Maurer Painting and Restorations to others and now he already has a full schedule for next year.
“The only bad part about it is, I wish I could get the help,” he said. The work is often hard and involves heights, so he can’t keep good help.
So far, Maurer’s favorite project has been the Mail Pouch barn along Route 985 near Green Gables Restaurant.
The barn has a large “Mail Pouch” advertisement on the side in yellow lettering, which was starting to fade. Maurer used measurements and lasers to repaint all of the lettering by hand.
“That’s my baby,” he says.
“I like redoing history. History’s the thing. You’ve got to save it, not destroy it.”