i recently took a trip to central illinois for a family reunion. one of the best parts of the trip was driving around these farm roads, paved with gooey tar, to see where my grandparents and great-grandparents lived. most of their homes are not standing anymore, but this barn remained next to the site of my great-grandmothers old home. my mother and grandmother with me, and it was so interesting to hear their stories and memories from this old barn. whoever owns it now will probably let it sit here to rot and disappear into the corn fields like so many other old structures in rural illinois.
photographs and words by kristin karch