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Piedmont family preserves piece of history, restores iconic barn

Submitted by Maree‘ Treece
The Treece family sits in front of their original family barn which is widely considered one of the most iconic structures in the Piedmont community. At over 100 years old, the younger generation of the McGranahan family has decided to build a new barn, preserving a rich legacy left behind in the process. From left to right are Joan Yowell, Robert Treece, Aimee’ Treece, Maree’ Treece, Melissa Prigmore and her daughter, Ashlynn Prigmore.

By Matt Montgomery

Preserving history is important to the Treece family. The iconic and historic barn that sits on top of the hill to the southwest of the intersection of the Northwest Expressway and Piedmont Road has been in their family for more than 100 years.

The McGranahan family settled on this piece of property in the late 1800s, before the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889. They raised they family in that house that still stands on top of the hill and they died in that house on top of the hill to the south of Piedmont. But, their legacy lives on.

Maree’ Treece is a third generation McGranahan. She said the iconic house on the hill is her great-great-great grandparents’ house. She recalled her great-great-great grandfather, James McGranahan, was Oklahoma City’s first postmaster. McGranahan’s wife, Sarah, ran the first hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.

The McGranahan’s used to have a barn next to their home on top of the hill, but it collapsed in the 1990s. So now, the Treece’s are carrying on their family’s history and building a new barn, modeled after the original one.

Robert Treece said their family had talked about rebuilding the barn since the original one collapsed. He said after noticing all of the recent development that is happening in the Piedmont area, he and his family decided it was time to go ahead and build the barn.

“Seeing all of the development coming around it’s just…,” he said. “Now is the time to do it.”
The Treece family has collected a lot of artifacts from the original house on the hill over the years and collected mementos and pictures and Robert Treece said he plans on incorporating as many of those as he can in the new barn to preserve their family’s history.

“It’s really hard for people to comprehend how you do something like this without a big financial gain at the end of it,” he said. “But I’m not doing it for financial gain. If I were, I’d sell it to Wal-Mart.”

Treece said he wants to do something special and preserve something that is rapidly disappearing in Oklahoma; history.

Treece does regret not having the foresight back then to maintain the original barn. However, he appreciates the fact that he still owns the property and the house is still standing.

He said the best he can do is rebuild it as close as he can.

Maintaining a family legacy is important to the Treece family.

“This has been important to our family for so long,” Maree’ Treece said. “We’ve really been able to have a lot of archives just saved on our own.”

Robert and Maree’ Treece said they aren’t concerned with how much the new barn will cost, they just want to do it right and pay homage to their ancestors.

A company out of Wayne, Neb. was chosen by the Treece’s to build the barn. The barn will be a Sand Creek style barn, which is a traditional post and beam construction wood barn. It will feature a sturdy frame with a rustic look with full dimension rough-cut timbers.

“I’m trying to do this the best I can and get it back to the closest to original as I can,” Robert Treece said.

The Treece’s hope to have the new barn finished

by the summer of 2013.

Submitted by Maree’ Treece
Sarah McGranahan and James McGranahan

Matt Montgomery/Gazette
Maree’ Treece stands in front of the soon to be built barn. The Treece family are building the barn as a memento to their great grandparents and for aesthetic and historical reasons. The Treece’s live about one-quarter mile from where the new barn will be built.

1 Comment

  1. Maree' Treece says:

    A big thank you to Matt Montgomery for his article over my ancestors and rebuilding their barn! My family and I really appreciate you sharing our story with the Piedmont community. If you would like to follow the progress of the barn we are on Facebook, The McGranahan Barn, Rebuilding History.

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