Pittman Farms, on the Michigan Road in Boone County, Indiana

Pittman Farms

You’ll find these barns standing in a vast empty field on the Michigan Road in Boone County. They’re at the corner of Sycamore St., which leads into Zionsville.

These barns stand unused on seven choice acres on a bustling Michigan Road corridor through neighboring Hamilton County and into this part of Boone County. Immediately south of here, it’s shops and condos and apartments and restaurants all the way to Indianapolis.

The Pittman family has had plans to develop this land. The news stories I’ve seen said it would be a mixture of housing and shopping. But plans stalled a few years ago after the family patriarch died, and it’s not clear how and when they’ll unstall.

So for now, these barns just stand there.


17 responses to “Pittman Farms, on the Michigan Road in Boone County, Indiana”

  1. J P Avatar

    I love old barns and am sad that they have become virtually useless in agriculture, except as big storage sheds. And then these have the added problem of their farm having gone away.

    Of course, I would personally love to have owned farmland that has become surrounded by commercial development. You cannot blame the owners for taking advantage of the financial winfall. I’m sure they will miss the barns more than I will.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I don’t blame the owners either. The sadness is how it changes the view.

  2. Retrocrank Avatar

    I second JP’s comment, and will add only that it’s my belief that an out of control consumerist culture is the culprit, not (as some suggest) the farmer seeking to make a living from his land.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yeah, there’s acres of (now) second- and third-tier retail just two miles down the road. I’d rather they revitalize that than build new up here.

  3. Theron Avatar

    Lovely photo, Jim.

    I have this thing for barns; last year on a boy scout trip to Michigan, I spent the better part of a day driving around the outskirts of Saginaw shooting all the lovely old barns there. I was supposed to pick up another scout’s dad at the airport, but his unfortunate series of delayed flights turned my wait into a wonderful afternoon of photo opportunities.

    When life gives you lemons……..

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You made some awesome lemonade!

      I have in the back of my mind a project: The Barns of Indianapolis. There are a number of them in the city.

  4. JoHawkTheWriter Avatar

    There is something about barns. Lovely photo.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      There are plenty of them on the Michigan Road! I should make a project to photograph them all.

      1. JoHawkTheWriter Avatar

        Sounds like another book in the making. 😊

  5. Nancy Stewart Avatar
    Nancy Stewart

    Old farm girl here …. hate to see more farm land gone !! I would like to have one of those homes that they make from an old barn.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Me too. We don’t need any more strip malls!

  6. TBM3FAN Avatar

    You would be better off with the barns and land staying there in the long run. Develop and 20 years from now you will be kicking yourself in the rear end for what you lost. I could say the same about all the orchids I remember in what is now Silicon Valley. Plums, peaches, nectarines to name a few. Now the region sucks along with San Francisco.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Don’t get me started on sprawl. What a waste it is.

  7. susanJOY Hosken Avatar
    susanJOY Hosken

    Jim, USA had the most awesome barns. Here in Australia we have “sheds” and they are made of galvanised iron a lot and are really ugly in my opinion

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Well that’s a shame! Indiana is full of old barns like these. Come see sometime.

  8. DougD Avatar

    Nice, I love old barns. When I was a kid my uncle’s farm had a big old wood barn that he stored hay and straw in for his cattle. Great fun to play in there. Not great fun to help him replenish the bales.

    From your trip to Ireland I’m sure you appreciated the lack of sprawl. The town stops here, after which there is countryside. The town stopped here a hundred years ago and it still stops here.

    Our ancestors came to North America to escape tight land use regulation (among other things) but you can’t help but think they’ve got it right in some ways over there that we don’t.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I don’t know what I think about tight land-use regulation. But one thing’s for sure: until probably the last 50 years the United States (and probably also Canada) sure as heck didn’t need it. Maybe it does now.

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