An old cattle barn is now a stunning new venue for weddings and family reunions just outside of Clarkson.
Jarett Doernemann says the barn was supposed to be demolished back in 2013. "I saw the condition of the barn, and I knew it was good enough to save, so we decided to buy the barn and save it," Doernemann said. "We moved it 6 miles from Leigh, Nebraska to Clarkson. It was the old Belohrad barn. We brought it down the highway. We started about 9 o'clock, and she was on the foundation here by 11 a.m."
Doernemann says originally, the barn was going to be a storage shed. But, once he and his family started building it, and once they built the huge fireplace, they knew it wasn't going to be a storage shed anymore. "We decided to rent it out. We do weddings and family reunions here. We do a cancer benefit every year in August for Columbus cancer care," Doernemann said. The name of the venue is officially called "The Barn".
The beams in the building are not original. Once there was a plan to have people sitting upstairs, the design of the barn had to change a bit. The beams are heavier than they were before. Doernemann says they cut out part of the loft to make room for the huge fire place and stone chimney, and then had to restructure the bracing. Doernemann says his cousin did the fireplace work. "He's got 900 hours put in to building this. It's sandstone rock, and it came out of South Dakota," Doernemann said.
The barn is 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, and a lean-to has been added on both sides. Both bathrooms used to be a granary and a tack room, and cattle once called this barn home. Doernemann says it's a good feeling to know that he's saved one of Nebraska's barns. "I told my wife, this one we are going to save. We are going to keep this one."