THE BLUE BARN
Alysia B. Perigo
The Blue Barn was located at the intersection of Indiana State Road 54 and County Road 375 East, approximately five miles east of Bloomfield. The barn was supposedly built in 1901 on a farm then owned by a farmer named Albert Heaton.
State Highway 54 was paved about 1930; the blue barn was still standing as an unpainted structure. The Heaton family owned the barn until the middle or late 1940s, when it was sold because of the death of Mrs. Eliza Ray Heaton in 1943.
Around 1951, the owner of what was then known as the Heaton Farm, Robert Clark, purchased surplus paint from Crane Naval Ammunition Depot and had the barn painted blue. The structure was immediately known as the Blue Barn. Through the years the paint became faded; however, some people thought it added charm to the structure. The barn was a landmark for giving directions in the surrounding area.
The barn sat in a small valley between two steep hills. The state highway curved in the valley making this a dangerous section of the roadway. Vehicles traveling at high rates of speed often had difficulty negotiating the two hills and the 90-degree curve; consequently, accidents are numerous. Newspaper accounts always referred to this area as either the "Blue Barn Hill" or "Blue Barn Curve."
In 1993, the Blue Barn was torn down by a developer. Many people hoped this development would be called Blue Barn Estates. Four new houses have been built in this area. One house is located on the exact spot of the old barn.
A Part of the Blue Barn, however, has been preserved by Margeret Kidd Uland. She gathered up lumber from the old barn and painted between 40 and 50 scenes on the old barn wood. She offered them for sale at the Bloomfield Apple Festival, which is held the first weekend of October. All of the pieces were sold in about four hours after the festival had started.
Although the barn is gone, people still refer to the area as Blue Barn Hill. Some wondered if the site should have been designated as an historical landmark, while others simply wandered around the area--lost without the help of the Blue Barn to guide them.
[Written May 1998]
Combs, Gene. "The Blue Barn."
Personal interview with Barbara Kirkman on Monday, February 16, 1998 in Linton, Indiana.