An old grain bin in Minnesota got a brand new life...it's now a bar in Wisconsin!

I was scrolling through Facebook the other day and got a little bit on the excited side when I read what Barbara Hytjan Waalkens, a former Rochester resident, wrote on her page:

Well a guy in Rice Lake Wisconsin bought one of my grain bins and turned it into a bar. It’s crazy how this grain bin sat in the woods for many years and now has new life. My grandpa Stanley would be so happy something of his is being used again. Looks great!

A few years ago, Barbara moved near Mapleton, Minnesota, and purchased a piece of property that has been in her family since 1856, even before Minnesota became a state. Barbara's mom, Karen Morris, grew up on the property, and there were a lot of memories tied.

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She was working on fixing it up and she had an idea that maybe someone else would like to use the two grain bins on her property in a new way.  Family and neighbors remember hauling oats out of the grain bins and aren't exactly sure when they were added to the property but know it's been at least 72 years, if not more.  The grain bins up for sale on Facebook marketplace to see if anyone would be interested in this piece of history.

Jeff Stoeklen, who lives by Rice Lake in Wisconsin, was dreaming of doing something on his personal property and Barbara's grain bin was perfect for the project that he had in mind - a grain bin bar.  Jeff made two trips to Minnesota, dismantled the grain bin with the help of some of Barbara's neighbors and his landscaping crew.  The grain bin bar took a few months to finish but was just completed on Saturday, August 29th.  Check out the photos and see how amazing this upcycled project turned out!

I had a chance to speak with both Barbara and Jeff on the phone and it was pretty interesting how they never met but they both said some very similar statements.  They were both so thankful to their family and they both mentioned how this grain bin brought up so many memories from the past with family.  Barbara's family grew up with these grain bins and family members remember shoveling oats in them.  When I spoke with Jeff, he didn't know it at the time of our call, but his words "takes me back to my grandparents shoveling oats." showed that this project was more than just a bar being built.

I know that we say Minnesota Nice is our own thing in Minnesota but I gotta say, I think we need to extend that over to Rice Lake, Wisconsin too.  Barbara and Jeff both mentioned to me that  "everyone was just so nice".but Jeff had one last statement that may also give him the title of "Husband of the Year".  I've never met him but when I asked if there was anything else he'd like me to include, he said he that he just wanted to thank everyone but especially his wife, Ann.

If you are looking for a grain bin to upcycle, Barbara has one more that is for sale.  You can see pictures of that one here.