Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The barn April 18, 2013

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This study and well-maintained barn sits at the intersection of Minnesota Highways 19 and 56 near Stanton, east of Northfield.

This study and well-maintained barn sits at the intersection of Minnesota Highways 19 and 56 near Stanton, east of Northfield.

NOTHING DEFINES RURAL Minnesota more than a red barn.

Whether nestled among the rolling hills of southeastern Minnesota or anchored to the earth in the wide open spaces of the west, red barns symbolize the hope, the fortitude and the dreams of generations of Minnesotans.

For inside the walls of our barns, farm families have worked together—pitching manure, stacking bales, milking cows, building a livelihood as much as a lifestyle.

Strong work ethics have been birthed here, life lessons taught.

While many red barns now stand empty, their roofs sagging, their paint peeling, they remain a symbol of all that is good about life in rural Minnesota.

© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Text first published in the September/October 2005 issue of Minnesota Moments