Farmer Jones Barns

Barns manufactured in Ulster County, NY
Barn Stormer
Barns manufactured in Ulster County, NY

Farmer Jones isn't a farmer - never has been and won't ever be - but he has more barns on his property than any farmer in the country.

Bob Jones is co-owner of FARMER JONES BABY BARNS, on two acres at State Routes 28 and 42. He and his wife Barbara started the business in 1971. They incorporated in 1983 after several successful years.

Farmer Jones
"My father was a carpenter. I've always been a carpenter. For a while, after the military service, I worked for a carpenter's local and built several types of buildings. Then I moved back home to Shandaken and wanted to start something that maybe my wife and I could someday hand down to our kids," Jones says.

Barns The couple started on a shoestring. Their two acre property was a field. The small shed-type barns were built "when the sun shown and the weather was on our side" because they couldn't afford to put up a building to work in. A $40,000 business loan and an immediate demand for "baby barns" encouraged them to keep going.
A 40 by 100 foot building went up, allowing for cover and the ability to build in all weather. Jones was selling direct from the Shandaken site as well as delivering barns to dealers in other parts of the state.

As business expanded, so did their off building - it's now 75 by 100 feet. A sawmill was built at the property about 14 years ago.

BARN CONSTRUCTION PHOTOS

Jones said business peaked in 1987 and 1988. The business employed about 20 people and baby barns were on the move in all directions. Then, two things happened. More people started building the small, backyard barn shed, especially the Amish in Pennsylvania. They really build a large amount and ship everywhere. Then in the 1980's, the recession hit and business has to be adaptable to survive. Mill

Baby Mill Barn Jones began building other products - garages, horse barns, gazebos, even dog houses.  All items are built at the Shandaken property. Larger pieces are trucked to the customer's property and assembled there.

"You can only stay in business like this if you offer several products and several designs of a product. You have to keep a step ahead all the time," says Bob Jones.

We also build specialty items for consumers. We had one guy come in with a picture of a mill house. He wanted it scaled down for his yard but he wanted it exactly like the photo and he wanted it to work. We did it. It has a working water wheel and flume. I would say we can about build anything out of wood that someone comes through this door and wants us to build.

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Barns manufactured in Ulster County, NY
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Barns manufactured in Ulster County, NY