DE SOTO — A historic barn and windmill in De Soto were destroyed Wednesday night as storms moved through the area.
Barn owner Darrel Zimmerman wept as he thought about the history that was lost in one Kansas storm.
The barn was moved and reconstructed with the help of community volunteers in 1999 and 2000. Yet Zimmerman's thoughts were mainly focused on those whose events were scheduled at the barn. He worried how and where they would find a place to relocate.
"The concern I have is all the events and activities that were going to go on there, weddings and wedding receptions and graduation parties," he said.
Zimmerman said no one was injured during the storm.
"About 11:30 last night winds came through and totally demolished our historic barn that's on site, knocked the windmill down as well and took out a lot of trees," he said.
The barn dates back to the 1880s and sits on the Zimmerman farm near K-10 and Kill Creek Road.
In 1999, Zimmerman rescued the dilapidated barn from another farmstead. Zimmerman, contractors and volunteers carefully deconstructed the barn and rebuilt it piece by piece at the new site. Community volunteers came out to help finish the historic structure.
Kansas preservationists praised the move.
The farm had become a local education center hosting field trips for school children and public events on a regular basis.
Zimmerman suspects his loss will be shared by many who treasured the history.
"It isn't just a loss to me, it's a loss to the community," he said.