Situated in the rural part of South Western Ontario in the county of Palmyra, a unique piece of history has been reborn and is every traveler’s dream, when it comes to the country origin of Ontario. This unusual structure, a large rectangular building The Crazy 8 Barn is the” Welcome Host” for the West Elgin community and the surrounding counties. Read this article in Spanish.
The barn was constructed in the late 1890’s this unfamiliar 8 sided shape referred to as polygonal was very popular in the mid- west in the 1800’s. The unusual shaped structure has gone through many upgrades but keeping original pieces were vital to saving the barn and keeping it as original as possible.
Since its plight was revealed in 2003, the barn itself was in need of repairs and someone to save this distinctive historical landmark, as there were legitimate concerns the barn would not survive another Ontario winter.
Rescued by a wonderful lady Susanne Spence Wilkins (who I had the pleasure to meet and gain valuable insight on this historical monument) admired the barn from a far as a child and she knew this was going to be her dream acquisition.
The dismantling of the barn began and was relocated where the General Store in Palmyra used to be. Construction began in October 2011 and continued until April 2013. The barn in now a functional four season building, fully insulated with geo-thermal heating.
Susanne wanted to share the building with many people locally and passer byes traveling through on their way to other regions. The development of a small cafe with true home style cooking was one of the features of the barn.
For ten dollars you can purchase a soup or small salad, sandwich, and regular beverage. I literally heard a customer say “you do not charge enough”. Laughing to myself as quiet as possible they really must have enjoyed their meal. Not hard to do considering everything is made fresh daily. I recommend the turkey salad sandwich, corn chowder, and my personal fave apple crumble pie. The pumpkin is amazing as well.
The Crazy Eight Barn, hosts a unique and interesting mix of items for sale including, fashion accessories, many home and garden related items, and local natural beauty products. (Love the Bee By the Sea) honey grown locally and used in all of the Bee By the Sea items. Seasonal items are always available and local gourmet preserves completes this wandering travelers souvenirs and exclusive collectibles.
The “Dakota Star” is the barns quilt in honour of the original owners the Bakers inspirational trip west in 1890’s. Susanne kept the original hand poured concrete sinks and vanities intact so when you do visit this travelers haven you can experience a true essence of the original barn. The unique crafted curve staircase, rough cut hardwood floor, and old farmhouse doors are remnants of this structure long time past.
If you do happen to be traveling though this very rural region of SW Ontario come in enjoy some truly country hospitality and peruse the displays and treasures available. Remember though, the crazy 8 barn is opened until December 31, (Sue throws a huge New Year’s celebration) and closed until May.
Don’t forget to say hi to Sue, Laurie, and Prl while you are there. Hi ladies!. ♥
Read this article in Spanish.
Crazy Eight Barn
14226 Talbot Trail