Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Darn Barn !

News report from Bruno , NE In 1981, Herman Ostry and
his wife, Donna, bought a farm a half mile outside of
Bruno , Nebraska , a small community sixty
miles west of Omaha .. The property had a creek and
came with a barn built in the 1920's. The barn
floor was always wet and
muddy. When the creek
flooded in 1988, the barn ended up with 29 inches
of water covering the floor. That was the last
straw. Ostry needed to move it to higher ground.

He contacted a building moving company and was
discouraged by the bid. One night around the
table, Ostry commented that if they had enough
people they could pick the barn up and move it to
higher ground.. Everyone laughed.

A few days later, Ostry’s son Mike showed his father some
calculations. He had counted the individual boards
and timbers in the barn and estimated that the barn
weighed approximately 16,640 pounds. He also estimated
that a steel grid needed to move the barn would
add another 3,150 pounds, bringing the total
weight to just under 10 tons. He figured it would
take around 350 people with each person lifting 56
lbs. to move the barn.

The town of Bruno , Nebraska was planning its centennial celebration
in late July of 1988. Herman and Mike presented
their barn moving idea to the committee. The
committee decided to make it part of their celebration.

So, on July 30, 1988, shortly
before 11 a.m., a quick test lift was successfully
made. Then, as local television cameras and 4,000
people from eleven states watched, 350
moved the barn 115 feet south and 6 feet higher up
a gentle slope and set it on its new foundation.

The reason most people think that something cannot be
done is because they know that they can’t do it by
themselves. But impossible things can be done if
we join together
in the task. Working together,
we can not only move barns, but change the world.


  1. Good barn. We used to do that in high school with people's Volkswagons...put them in the middle of the football field, etc...

  2. That was fun, I hate to think what would happen if the barn had been a "shovel ready project"!

  3. Damn sturdy barn, only in a good neighborhood could you get that many folks to help.Bruno Nebraska has a few good neighbors!

  4. Collectivism works when done by the community, but seldom works when done by a central government far removed from the people.

  5. Bunni, if it were a shovel ready gubm't project, we'd still be waiting some 40 years later to gitte'r done.

  6. Randy, Small Town USA will save us all!

  7. Ron, that's why "We the People" is so popular with small communities.

  8. Small town USA is our only hope. I have been to a "barn reising" or two in my youth but this just beats all!

  9. Such a cool story..It shows what people can do when they work together.

    Thanks Odie.

  10. Wow, that was impressive. Good people working together.
    Hope you and yours have a Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Amazing, I bet these people were all in the 1% too.

  12. Admiral, we know that because it was a clean barn.

  13. Excellent Odie and talking about moving you do know I have moved now to a new web host and can be found at
    if you could change your blog link then my posts will update again, thanks,we can make stuff happen when we work together eh!

  14. Could we get enough people together to clean out the WH in one day next year? Say November 6th? What do you think?


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