Corn Crib Restoration Project
The oldest remaining building at the Baltimore County Ag Center and Farm Park, a double-sided corn crib which dates back to the 1930’s, has been stabilized as part of an overall restoration initiative spearheaded by Gene Swackhammer with help from Jody Westerlund and the skilled craftsmen of SsK Builders. A favorite structure for many who practice plein air painting or who just love old farm buildings, the corn crib was renovated with new locust floor sills, Cyprus and fir studs, and several replacement and “sistered” roof rafters along with a new north wall and roof.
The crib dates to the 1930’s when the mechanization period of agriculture was exploding hand cut fodder shocks and field and on-ground storage was being replaced by above ground cribs with flow- through air ventilation to keep the moisture content of the grain at 14 percent or lower for long-term storability. Cribs remained the preferred storage structure as long as ear corn was harvested. The next wave of technology after World War II was corn shelling harvesters that returned cobs to the soil, but also required enclosed bins that would hold the small kernels under controlled conditions of moisture and temperature that prevented caking and spoilage.