Mike Harre has brought everything he loves about the country to right outside his front door when he built the Big Red Barn.
“Every morning I can get up and look out the window and I can see the barn, the bridge, and the mill house,” Harre said.
Harre has spent the last 35 years as a funeral home director/owner for Harre’s Funeral Home and Ambulance Services and in the line of work Harre is in, he said it has always been hard for him and his family to travel to far away from McLeansboro.
Haree said he likes waterfalls, mill houses, covered bridges, and old barns.
“Anytime I do get to go out and travel those are the things I want to go and see.”
“My profession has never allowed me to leave much, so I had to build the things I love here since I couldn’t get away to go see it.”
Haree said he has had the idea for building his own barn all his life but the actual building of the structure itself began three years ago.
“The barn has come a long way and I am still working on it and it is a working process and I will probably work on it till the day I die,” Harre said.
With the love Harre has for old barns and stories he remembers hearing about his grandfather, Doc Harre’s big red barn it was only natural for him to bring to life is own Big Red Barn.
“I always heard stories of his big red barn which was behind what is now Bantera Bank,” Harre said.
Harre said with growing up in the county and living on or near a farm “I like old stuff and I always wanted to build a barn not a new one but one that resembles an old barn,” Harre said.
Harre said The Big Red Barn looks old but is all new. “I have tried to make it as useable as possible and I didn’t attend to use it for what it has become,” Harre explained.
Harre said he planned to build the barn to accommodate his large family and grandkids. Haree said he and his family use the venue for all sorts of things including Christmas, Thanksgiving, and even a place to have a movie night on the big screen. The barn also houses all of Haree’s vintage and antiques he has collected over his lifetime.
On the property surrounding the Big Red Barn, there is a covered bridge, a mill house, a pond, a small wooded area, vintage cars, and tractors.
The barn is three stories and is filled from wall to wall of rustic decor with a stunning view of a pond.
“Before I could even get the barn built people started to come up to us and saying ‘Oh we have always had dreams of getting married in a barn’ and I’d say we don’t even have a concrete floor in it,” Harre said.
Harre said no matter how much he tried to explain the barn wasn’t in a real working
order people still wanted the chance to say “I do” in the Big Red Barn.
“They wouldn’t take no for an answer even though I never said no I just tried to discourage it,” Harre said with a grin.
Harre said one thing led to another and now it has not only became a place for his family but for others looking for a special place to be with their family and friends as well.