One of the things we have loved most about renovating Buda Mill & Grain over the past five years have been the stories people bring us about their memories of the Mill. Many locals have reminisced about growing up in Buda and coming to the feed store. Local Billie Grey remembered that the Mill was the first business to receive the telephone in Buda even before the doctor's office or the grocery store, pointing out the Mill's importance in the community. Another local explained just how hot it was the summer his job was cleaning out the insides of the big silos.
One of my favorite stories came from Mr. Doherty who grew up on the Mill property in the little white house next to Sac N Pac. His father worked at the Mill and his father could remember when there was a dairy in the back south acre at a time when Buda had up to 150 local dairies. One of Mr. Doherty's favorite memories was about the Hay Barn (304 S Main Street). We hadn’t known what the long pole barn was used for until he told us that the feed company, Buda Milling Co. stored their hay there. But the best part of his recollection was that they also stored the corn cobs in the Hay Barn after the corn had been cut off for feed. He explained that sometimes they would have corn cob fights along Main Street in the 50's. He laughed as he pointed out just how much it hurt to be hit in the back with a flying corn cob.
When we started renovations, the Hay Barn was being rented by a man who did car repairs. After this tenant left, we removed the tin siding, trying to save the original pole barn structure. We tried multiple ways to keep the poles but the creosote coating was just too toxic to save.
Here are a few pictures of what the Hay Barn used to look like before the renovations.
When we designed the new space, we kept the original foot print of the old barn and the same ridge height of the building so it would mirror the original building. We wanted to keep large posts in the building as a reminder of the history of the pole barn structure. And the new window on the south end, looking out at the silos, is a reference to the door opening from before.