Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The Poetry Barn March 3, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:18 PM
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OFFICIALLY, IT’S CALLED Stoney End Music Barn.

But I call it The Poetry Barn.

Stoney End Music Barn, 920 State Highway 19, Red Wing, Minnesota

Stoney End Music Barn, 920 State Highway 19, Red Wing, Minnesota

Tucked into a wooded hillside just west of Red Wing, an aged sprawling barn draws the attention of travelers on Minnesota Highway 19. If not for the words, this barn might go unnoticed, blending into the rural landscape.

But there the barn stands, block print letters painted upon peeling paint.

Perhaps passersby ponder the poetry posted. Perhaps not.

I have photographed the barn on a sunny Saturday in March, just another person passing by en route to and from the Mississippi River town of Red Wing. Like so many others, I am in a hurry with no time to pause and explore this roadside attraction.

I have missed so much. Stoney End Music Barn, I later learn, houses a team of musicians who craft primarily harps—having made more than 7,000 since 1984.

The renovated barn is also home to the Hobgoblin Music Store and a third floor music loft/concert hall.

So you see, Stoney End Music Barn truly is a poetry barn, for music is poetry.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


16 Responses to “The Poetry Barn”

  1. Clyde of Mankato Says:

    Love that place.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I assume you’ve been inside, Clyde? Our short visit to Red Wing yesterday, mostly to see the eagles, was two days too short. We mostly need to plan a return trip with a detailed itinerary and an overnight stay.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    Am definitely checking this place out come summer (although there is a Friday nite concert coming up that really looks great)! Love Gailic music and have always dreamed of owning a lap harp (also, a hammered dulcimer!). Awesome info!!!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      You know I am always delighted to share these unique places. I am even more pleased when readers like you totally embrace the discovery and tell me you “must see” this. Keep us posted.

  3. Carol Allis Says:

    Loved this … poets are everywhere!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      I so agree and especially appreciate when poetry is showcased in the most unexpected of places.

  4. Jackie Says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen this barn but I’m gonna need to 🙂
    thanks for sharing !

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Not surprised at all, Jackie, that you would want to see this poetry barn. It is just outside of Red Wing on Minnesota Highway 19, so really not much out of the way for you.

  5. hotlyspiced Says:

    They make harps in that barn? I’m impressed. Making a harp would be so difficult. xx

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, and Stoney End also makes mountain dulcimers, banjos and bodhrans. Wonderful, isn’t it?

  6. My wife and I have been to Hobgoblin Music several times. We own a Stoney End Harp and a Bodhran, (Irish Drum) bought from there. Wonderful place filled with the smell of good wood.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks for the heads up. Love that smell of wood. Stoney End will for sure be on our list of places to visit next trip to Red Wing.

  7. cecilia Says:

    Harps! How extraordinary. really not what you would expect.. great shot audrey.. c

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Don’t you love surprises? As for the shot, I took several shots as we passed by the barn on our way to Red Wing and then several more quick frames on the way back. A little photo editing and, ta-da, I got what I wanted, even if I had to shoot through a grimy passenger side car window.

  8. That building is fantastic. And I love anything with the name “Hobgoblin” in it…

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Most definitely will need to stop here next trip to Red Wing and get the full story and more photos.

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