I am Mark Stitt of Stitt Barn Preservation. I am a third-generation barn wright. My grandfather, Sam Stitt II, had a passion for restoring barns and at the age of 16 he began his barn repair business. My grandfather was a preacher, evangelist and businessman. He and my grandma raised their 10 children with God, family and country at the center of values. My grandpa passed all of his honed skills and vast knowledge of barns on. Many of his sons grew up and started their own businesses repairing, restoring and preserving barns across the country. Many of them also served our country in the military. I grew up working with my grandpa, dad, uncles and cousins working on barns. My grandpa us to pick on me, saying my feet were made for barn roofs. We were instilled with solid Christian values, strong morals, good business ethics and honesty. There was also an incredible family pride instilled in us. I was taught the craft and love of bring an old or damaged structure back to life as the owners’ prize jewel.
When our country was being settled, the barn was normally the first structure built on a newly clammed property. The barn was the heartbeat of the families and their livelihood. Those families blood, sweat and tears are what gave their barns life, that life blood also flows in my veins. My grandpa taught us how to listen to the barn. Look for the problem areas and to tackle the problems you never see until you enter into the project. The various structures and designs of barns has always been something of intrigue to me. We respect the barn and the barn owners.
After my service in the military, I returned home and continued working with my dad on barns. I meet and married my wife, Janet, of 30+ years and raised our 5 children. I worked with family over the years and have my own kids work with me. I raised them with the same values and love of barns that my grandparents and parents instilled in me. I currently have two of my kids working for me. My daughter asked my oldest grandson one day what he was going to be when he grows up. He said “I was thinking about taking over the business for grandpa.” Do we have a 5th generation coming up in barn preservation? I sure hope so.
My grandfather is gone now but much of what he taught us keeps our family strong. We, with our love for God, family heritage and country are helping you, who still want to keep your family ties with your barns or just re purpose them to create new memories. Keeping our country side speckled with what barns were and what barns can still be, is what we do best.