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Published March 24, 2009, 12:00 AM

Old wood gets new life

Man turns barn scraps into furniture
ARGUSVILLE, N.D. – Generations of American parents have reprimanded loutish children with the words: “What’s the matter? Were you born in a barn?”

By: Jon Knutson, INFORUM

ARGUSVILLE, N.D. – Generations of American parents have reprimanded loutish children with the words: “What’s the matter? Were you born in a barn?”

Cameron Frueh – who heard the phrase as a child – has given it new meaning.

Frueh operates Born in a Barn, which specializes in rustic wood furniture and signs, in his Argusville home.

He uses wood from old barns in eastern North Dakota.

“So it works on a bunch of different levels,” Frueh said of his company’s name.

Frueh has long been interested in building furniture. He launched his business in the summer of 2007.

Signs cost $7, $14 or $21, depending on their size. Furniture prices can be found on the company’s Web site.

Frueh stuck out in his initial efforts to find old barns to tear down for their still-sound wood.

Then he took out an advertisement in the Farmers’ Forum that drew responses from owners of several barns in the area.

One of the respondents was Bud Beilke, a retired farmer with an old barn near Buffalo, N.D.

Frueh methodically tore down the barn by hand.

“He did a great job, too,” Beilke said.

Frueh took photographs of Beilke’s barn and the other barns he tore down.

Frueh already has enough stored wood for the foreseeable future, so he has no immediate need to tear down more old barns.

Frueh is uncertain how successful Born in a Barn will become.

“I don’t know where this is going to go,” he said of his business. “But it’s going to be interesting to find out.”


For more information

Cameron Frueh and Born in a Barn can be contacted at (701) 484-5282 or cfrueh@ideaone.net. The company’s Web site is www.

borninabarnfurniture.blogspot.

com.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530

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