The 10,000 historic barns in Madison County with their unique Appalachian style each tell a story of the rural lifestyle—when western North Carolina ‘s leading economy was agriculture and namely tobacco. These structures remind us of a time that seems to represent simplicity, decency and the intimacy of America’s agrarian past. Barns tell this story, but they also tell of the close-knit communities and every- day hard work. These stories aren’t found in the history textbooks, they are found here in rural Madison County.
Take a private tour, a small van tour or join a bus tour on the Annual Barn Day when the researcher for the organization who serves as the tour guide captivates the group with stories about the barns and the history of the county. Those who have taken the tours rave about how there is a combination of great stories with the architectural and agricultural history. “Not only are these beautiful buildings made with craft and ingenuity, they ARE the past” is typical of the comments received.