GILMORE CITY - The barn on the Kirk and Jolene Pisel farm near Gilmore City in Humboldt County is as much of a working barn today as when it was built in 1890.
The barn, Kirk Pisel said, and the farm house were already present on the farm when Kirk's great-grandparents moved from Fairfax and purchased the land.
According to family history, the farm was originally purchased from a Civil War veteran by the Eversole family. The Pisel family bought it in 1892.
-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
The barn of Kirk and Jolene Pisel was built back in 1892 and is still used for their cattle operation.
The barn was mainly used for milking cows, Pisel said, and housing work horses. Throughout the years it was converted for feeder cattle and hogs and was home for a couple Pisel family generations of 4-H calves.
The barn is still an integral part of the Pisel family farm, being used for hay storage, cattle processing and loading as well as part of couple's cattle operation where they finish up to 300 cattle on the farm a year.
Pisel said they still use the original hay forks to load hay into the loft - eight bales at a time. Pisel said he pulls the rope with a tractor, lifting the bales into the loft and tripping the rope to dump the bales. This process, he said, takes only three people to do the job.
"It's easier than using an elevator," he said. "Even back when we used to have to stack the bales this system worked. There's no handling the bales again until they are in the barn.
"It's unique that the system is still operating that way," Pisel said. "We are using an old wooden track versus others that use to use a steel track."
They also still fill the silos that accompany the barn.
The barn is especially important to the couple's meat business. Jolene Pisel said they started JoKir's Wild Beef in 2009 as a way to add value to their farming operation.
They sell retail cuts of dry-aged beef throughout the year.
"The barn is a big part of our business," she wsaid. "It's a place to keep our animals healthy and well fed."
Each year they host a Farm Fair and the barn is an attraction to visitors.
"It is a great experience for people that are not from a farm," she said. "People love coming to the farm and getting that feeling of nostalgia here."
The Pisels kept the barn up by replacing wood shingles for a tin roof, routine maintenance as needed, and modifications to make the building a better fit for their operation.
Kirk Pisel said the barn is sturdy, especially considering how long it has been standing and the couple agree that it is a focal point of their farm.
"New isn't always better, just by how it is so well built," said Jolene Pisel. "There is always an adventure with what you might find or see out there and it is always a memory trip going into it."
"You learn about life and death - all of those lessons in the barn," said Kirk Pisel.