Walt’s Barn Raising Dedication
Although Walt Disney was born in Chicago Illinois, he considered his home town Marceline Missouri. When he was a young boy he grew up on a farm in Marceline and the little town made a lasting impression on him.
In 2001 in honor of Walt’s 100th Birthday, Marceline put on a huge party. One of the events that took place was a barn raising on the original Disney Farm. I was lucky enough to participate in the barn raising. Although I wasn’t able to hammer too many nails in perfectly, I greeted townspeople and guests and invited them to hammer in a nail too. After guests would hammer in a nail, I asked them to sign it. Even if the signatures were covered up, I told them, “Walt will know its there.”
Before I get ahead of myself, I must explain that Walt Disney had a barn at his backyard home at 355 Carolwood Drive, in Holmby Hills California. This miniature barn was where he worked on his miniature railroad, the Carolwood Pacific. He borrowed the name from his street and kept the CP initials of the Central Pacific Railroad. The barn still exists today but was moved to Griffith Park in Los Angeles in the Live Steamers area. See my other article about Walt’s Barn or go to the Carolwood Pacific Historical website for more information.
At the dedication of the unfinished barn to Marceline, the mayor, Disney Imagineers, many Marceline residents and out-of-town guests were on hand to enjoy the event. Terri Lynn, the Barn Crew Chief in Los Angeles, and I were asked to make the announcements. A special beam was signed by the attendees of the last Disneyana Convention held September 4, 2001 at the Disneyland Resort. The beam was signed, and carefully shipped out for installation. This beam inspired me to ask others to sign the barn. Kaye Malins, the current owner of the Marceline Barn and former Disney Farm tells me that many more people come to the barn and continue to sign it.
Other things you might want to know, Michael Broggie has written a book about the barns in Walt’s life. It is called, Walt’s Happy Place. You can find it also on the Carolwood website. There Michael explains how an old barn in Missouri inspired Walt to create a barn movie prop. The movie prop inspired Walt to build a barn in his personal back yard. Many years after Walt’s death, the back-yard barn is preserved and moved while friends build a new barn in Missouri to complete the circle and replace the original one that has long gone. This children’s book is based on a true-story.
If you’re ever in Marceline Missouri check out Walt’s Barn! The train station is also an excellent museum dedicated to Walt Disney’s legacy.
In the next few weeks, I’ll share more exciting adventures that surfaced as a result of my volunteering at Walt’s Barn. These photos were a generous going-away gift from Walt’s Barn Crew in California. Stay tuned for celebrities and more fun!