Organizations such as the National Barn Alliance are working to preserve and protect barns—historic pieces of Americana and reminders of our country’s agricultural roots. “They tell the story of hard work. They tell stories of dedication, tradition, aspiration and creativity,” the alliance’s website reads. “It is our nation’s story told in wood, brick and stone.”

Unfortunately, many barns—like those captured by our photo contest entrants—have seemingly already been forgotten and may be telling their stories for the last time. Before they’re gone forever, take a look.

John Moulton barn
A tourist attraction in its own right on the grounds of Grand Teton National Park, the historic John Moulton barn was built as part of a settlement Mormons founded in the 1890s. William Dodd, Wyoming, 2021
Night sky
Hundreds of stars dot the night sky above a faded red barn on a vast plain. Jim Hendrix, Mississippi, 2021

Fall Trees Barn
A whitewashed barn stands in a valley in contrast to the brightly colored autumn trees covering nearby mountains. Mary Hogan, Virginia, 2021
Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge
Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge helps preserve and protect the ecosystem near the Nisqually River. This barn, one of two, was built in 1932. They once held farm animals and equipment. David K., Washington, 2018

Pumpkins and Antique truck
A quintessential fall scene: Amber stalks of grain obscure the view of pumpkins and an antique truck sitting outside of an obligatory red barn. Barry Creech, Colorado, 2021
Snowcapped mountains and a windmill
Snowcapped mountains and a windmill serve as the backdrop for these old barns fenced off from the nearby road. Bill Stipp, Wyoming, 2019

Whitewashed barn
Antique farm equipment is exposed to the elements outside of a whitewashed barn surrounded by cornfields. Diane Sisko, Iowa, 2021
Red Barn
Why are many barns red? According to the Library of Congress, in the late 18th century, New England farmers began protecting barn surfaces by applying a varnish that usually contained some mixture of linseed oil, lime or iron oxide. Under the sun, the solution turned red. Later, when red paint became available, many people continued covering their barns in the attention-grabbing hue. Armando Arjona, California, 2022

A silo and sunflowers
A silo and sunflowers beginning to bloom surround what remains of an abandoned barn. Dougetta Nuneviller, Missouri, 2018
A vibrant red barn and autumn trees
A vibrant red barn and autumn trees add color to the landscape. Christine Munisteri, New York, 2017
Dilapidated 1905 barn
More than a century old, this dilapidated 1905 barn remains as a symbol of America’s foundation as an agricultural nation. Roxanne Laschanzky, Idaho, 2022

The setting sun
The setting sun casts a soft light on an old barn overlooking a field of flowers and bales of hay. Catherine Fraser, Oklahoma, 2017
American Flag
A seemingly fresh American flag decorates an old, abandoned barn on a deserted property. Ken Schaub, North Carolina, 2020

Fall Trees Barn
A whitewashed barn stands in a valley in contrast to the brightly colored autumn trees covering nearby mountains. Mary Hogan, Virginia, 2021
Beautiful landscape scene
A Mormon-built barn takes center stage in this beautiful landscape scene that includes centuries-old structures, regal mountains, billowing clouds and tall trees. David Snyder, Wyoming, 2016

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