Architectural Gems In Greece

By on June 26, 2017
Jane Grant, Author

Jane Grant, Author

Greece author Jane Grant’s first book “Barns of Greece, N.Y…. What stories they can tell” was published in March of 2017. This book had a round about way of coming to fruition. “It all really started because I had an interest in finding out about the Belgium farmers from the 1920s and 1930s in Greece. I have a neighbor whose family formerly lived on West Ridge Road. She told me that the horses from the Belgium farms made so much noise as they went about their business on West Ridge Road that it prompted her family to move away from the noise. I wanted to find out about those farmers,” Grant says.

Jane began taking pictures of the barns in Greece. She was concerned because she found that many of the barns were falling into decay and were being demolished. Since much of the agriculture in Greece has been lost to commercial enterprise, many of the approximately 100 barns in Greece are no longer used for farming. Some barns have been converted for commercial use, and many are used to just keep “stuff” in. “Every time I thought I had photographed them all, I found more hiding out of site. It is like the saying ‘We see what we are looking for’ the barns were there all the time, some out of sight, but most are hiding in plain sight,” she says.

As Grant’s photos grew in number she became curious about the stories behind the barns and the farms and the family farmers. “I started knocking on doors of strangers. I found most people happily shared the stories about their barns their farms and families. And each barn has a story,” she says.

“Barns of Greece, N.Y…. What stories they can tell” is 64 full color pages containing Grant’s pictures and the stories about 60 of the barns in Greece. One of the barns, the Yates-Thayer barn at 720 Latta Road, Greece, is a large yellow barn of great beauty. “The barn almost came down.  Through the efforts of the Historical Preservation Society of Greece it was sold to a developer determined to preserve it. The barn is located next to an elegant mansion that was formerly the summer home of a railroad magnate. The architecture of the mansion and the barn are beautiful. We are fortunate that is was saved,” Grant says.

Before she decided to write the book, Grant’s barn photos were in an exhibit at the Greece Historical Society Museum. “The Historical Society was so helpful to me with my research on the properties and the families. The exhibit came together and was on display at the Museum for several months,” she said. Many people that saw the exhibit felt her photos and stories should be made into a book. Her book came together with the help of Marie Poinan, who Grant says was responsible for taking her raw materials and making them into a book.

“Barns of Greece, N.Y…. What stories they can tell” is available to purchase at the Greece Historical Society Museum’s gift shop.