We had an expert here at Oatlands today to examine our 1821 brick bank barn and stone ice house, along with the area around it, for toxic or dangerous chemicals. She was looking in particular for asbestos, lead paint, buried oil tanks, and any building materials that might contain problematic substances.
We’ll know the week after next if any of our paint samples test positive for lead, but as for everything else, we just don’t think there will be any issues. With 200-year-old construction, it’s a good bet that everything is organic! Our bricks were made of Virginia clay from right here on the property. Our wood was harvested in the neighborhood from old growth forest. Our plaster is a mix of sand and good old-fashioned Goose Creek mud.
200 years ago, people built barns from the materials ready to hand in the natural environment. Lucky for us, they built those barns to last.