Historic Bardstown barn destroyed in hailstorm

The clean-up efforts continue in Bardstown after the town was battered in a storm Wednesday evening. That storm damaged homes and trees. One of the buildings damaged a tobacco barn dating back to the 1930s

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Broken wooden boards and twisted sheets of metal cover the ground with bales of hay poking out from under the debris.

"It looked like a bomb went off," Bardstown farmer Greg Settles said.

This Saturday afternoon is sunny and calm, a stark contrast from Wednesday when a hailstorm trapped Settles and his wife on the road.

"It hailed and rained so hard, we couldn't see out of the driveway, just pulled off the road and stopped," he said. "My neighbor called me and said the tobacco barn blew over."

When he received the news, Settles imagined his tobacco barn would need some repairs, but he did not expect it would need a cleanup.

"I had damage to it a couple of times over the years and it was like doors blown off and the post blown out, but I couldn't imagine it being like this," he said.

Settles said the tobacco barn has been a landmark the area given its location right at the intersection of Ben Irvin Road and Wheeler Road.

"People we don't even know back there say, 'Oh man, I hate to see that go because that's how I told people where I live,'" he said. "Even people who got pizza delivered to them back there, this is where the pizza man stopped."

Settles bought the property 37 years ago, most recently using the barn to store hay after he stopped growing tobacco a few years back, but the structure has been around long before. The barn was built 79 years ago, ironically after the previous barn was destroyed, also blown down in a storm.

"They rebuilt and there's been a tobacco barn here, I don't know how much before then, ever since tobacco's been going, I guess," he said.

Settles said he is looking at the silver lining, his house is mostly unscathed and his family, including his pets, all unharmed. But the debris is still hard to look at, feelings of disbelief and sadness at seeing the history now scattered on the grass.

"You can build a new barn, but you can't bring the landmark back," he said.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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