The Corncrib

Corncribs were first used by Native Americans and were quickly adopted by European settlers. Corncrib designs vary greatly. They were originally made of wood, but other materials have also been used. The basic corncrib consists of a roofed bin elevated on posts. Another typical early American design has walls slanted outward. Some drive-through cribs, had a loft for additional grain storage above the central aisle and side cribs.

After the harvest, corn, still on the cob, is placed in the crib either with or without the husk and allowed to dry to prevent mildew and spoilage. The slatted sides of the corncribs allow air to circulate through the corn, both allowing it to dry initially and helping it to stay dry. The slats expose the corn to pests, so corncribs are elevated above the ground beyond the reach of rodents. Cows ate the corn, including the cob, as part of their regular diet.  Nice and tidy.

This corncrib dates from the first quarter of the 20th century. Farmer Barlow used many different, no longer necessary items for its original purpose to extend the corncrib’s life. The gabled roof has many layers of material. Tires were placed on the roof to keep metal sheets and shingles from blowing off in high winds. Asphalt shingles and sheet metal are often seen on corn crib roofs, peeking out from the asphalt are the original sawn cedar shingles. Look carefully and you could see remnants of a windmill used on the sides of the corncrib.  Time and weather had taken a toll on the old corncrib at CBF.  In 2013, Sugar Creek Builders rebuilt the crib with appropriate materials.

The corncrib provided storage for corn harvested on the farm.  After the harvest, corn, still on the cob, is placed in the crib either with or without the husk and allowed to dry to prevent mildew and spoilage. The slatted sides of the corncribs allow air to circulate through the corn, both allowing it to dry initially and helping it to stay dry. The slats expose the corn to pests, so corncribs are elevated above the ground beyond the reach of rodents.  Cows ate the corn, including the cob, as part of their regular diet.