Julie Hamilton’s Art Preserves Iowa’s Rural Heritage
By DARCY DOUGHERTY MAULSBY
—With its bare, dull wood, missing boards and gaping holes in the roof, the decrepit barn west of Peterson would never be a candidate for a calendar photo. Still, there was something about the lonely barn that compelled Julie Hamilton to shoot the striking photos that would preserve this “River Valley Ghost.”
“I felt a pull—like I needed to take pictures of that barn—and I’m so glad I did, because a month later the barn was torn down,” said Hamilton, 43, a real estate agent, insurance inspector and amateur photographer who sells her artwork online.
The River Valley Ghost was one of many grand old barns that have been erased from the countryside in the past year, noted Hamilton, a self-proclaimed “barn addict.” While she understands why people demolish barns that have fallen into disrepair and no longer...