Skip to main content

Keeping The Barn

Keeping The Barn

Keeping the Barn


This program will show the rich heritage and stories connected to the barns of Montana.

They are the centerpiece of any farm or ranch. Montana features a rich heritage connected to barns. There are more than 6000 historic barns in the state, but that number is rapidly falling. It’s a difficult dilemma for farmers and ranchers; when to hold on or when to let go. The 90-minute show follows the Brouwer family, near Manhattan, as they struggle with the cost and complication of fixing the roof on their barn. They discover it is no easy task maintaining their piece of history. During their journey to repair the barn, this program also features Montana families from the mountains of the southwest to the prairies of the northeast as they try to maintain their historic barns. There are even some quick visits to some of Montana’s more unusual barns. Ultimately, they all have one thing in common. Their personal stories reflect the meaning and nostalgia of these beautiful buildings.


Producer/Director John Twiggs brings 30-years of television experience to lead the production team. He has documented Montana history with award-winning programs such as, Evelyn Cameron: Pictures from a Worthy Life, and, Playing for the World: The 1904 Fort Shaw Indian Girls’ Basketball Team. His body of work has earned national awards (Cine Golden Eagle) and regional honors (Emmy).

MontanaPBS Production Partners:

  • Authors Chere Jiusto and Christine Brown
  • Photographer Tom Ferris (Hand Raised: Barns of Montana)
  • Montana Preservation Alliance
  • Montana Historical Society

2020 Photo Contest

As Twiggs compiled this story, there were so many other stories left untold and so many barns left undocumented. Which left us with the perfect opportunity to hear from you, our viewers, and experience the barns of Montana from your perspective. Through our 2020 Keeping the Barn photo contest, you showed us those barns in your neighborhood!


We would like to express our sincere thanks to these supporters who have made generous contributions to the making of the film:

  • Jane and Ron Lerner
  • Greater Montana Foundation
  • Nancy Thompson Flikkema
  • Thrivent Financial
  • The Estate of Judith A. McCarthy
  • Friends of MontanaPBS


Contact Info:

Ray Ekness, Executive Producer, MontanaPBS
(406) 243-4154,

John Twiggs, Producer, MontanaPBS
(406) 243-4565,

Backroads Trip Planner
Enter your starting address:
Pick some stops along the way:
(Ctrl+Click or Cmd+Click for multiple selection)