Put a piece of equestrian history in your home with materials salvaged from old barns
If you’re looking for an original piece of Kentucky Thoroughbred history, chances are George Gatewood of Longwood Antique Woods has it. Based in Lexington, Gatewood specializes in reclaiming horse barns slated for demolition or no longer in use. But these aren’t just any old horse barns. Gatewood’s collection includes such finds as original stall doors from Faraway Farm, the birthplace of Triple Crown winner War Admiral, and hoof-worn paving bricks from Hamburg Place, the stomping grounds of multiple Kentucky Derby winners since its founding in 1898.
Gatewood’s mission began when he watched a bulldozer barrel through his family’s 200-year-old farmhouse in Mount Sterling, Kentucky, to make room for an industrial park. “It was just awful to watch,” he says. Since then, his team has meticulously pulled some two million nails from 500 structures, preserving wood and other materials that otherwise would have been lost to history.
For do-it-yourselfers, Gatewood will ship the materials directly to you, or his team can also install antique flooring, beams, and mantels, or even create one-of-a-kind furniture. “These barns are not being used,” he says. “They will expire and fall back into the earth. It’s nice to know you can sacrifice those buildings and someone will honor them for a long time to come.”