December 23, 2010
I was wandering around the local backroads a few days ago when I spotted this sprawling barn and these tall grasses; seemed like a possible photograph….
Further research about the location turned up an unexpected gem. Seems that Shaytown was named for Ephraim Shay, inventor of the classic narrow-gauge lumbering locomotive, who became famous after bestowing his name on this corner. Recovering railfan that I am, I knew who he was, but hadn’t recognized the local connection.
Near as I can tell, Shay owned this property for four years or so shortly after the Civil War, where he ran a sawmill and (probably) a general store. Those are gone, and to all appearances the existing barn and house were built by later owners.
Nonetheless, a delightful surprise. Unfortunately, and despite the truck parked in the yard, both the house and barn seem to be abandoned.