Pittsylvania County Man Moving Tobacco Barns

Pittsylvania, Co., VA -- A Pittsylvania County man is taking on a big challenge. He is moving four tobacco barns piece by piece.

The barns have been in his family for generations. In fact, they are determined to be between 150 and 200 years old. And he says moving them is the only way to keep them.
When Randy Yates pictures his childhood, tobacco barns always show up in the background. After all, they've been in his family for four generations.
"I'm amazed that the logs and the structural foundations are as good as they are," said Yates.
Now, Yates will take apart those foundations log by log.
"The land has been sold and we're going to either move them or lose them," said Yates.
So, he decided to move them just across the street, to property he still owns.
"Heritage is something once you lose it, it is gone," said Yates.
While the use of these barns has become obsolete, his desire to keep them in the family will never fade.
"Knowing that my daddy, my granddaddy, my great granddaddy built these by hand, it would mean tremendous to me," said Yates.
But, this operation will not be an easy one. It started by removing the tin from the outside of each barn. Then, it takes three people days of work to just to remove the logs. And Yates keeps track of each and every piece.
"I want to put them exact. I'm putting arrows on them showing which side the log was up and it should go back exactly like they came down," said Yates.
But Yates says all this hard work will be worth it for him, and for future generations.
He hopes to have them dismantled before the Summer. Then he is going to wait until fall to start rebuilding them.