Part reality series, part documentary show, “Barnwood Builders” is the perfect combination of history and construction show. It’s a fan favorite for anyone who loves a down-to-earth reality show that takes a unique look at the nation’s history, one pioneer building at a time. After season 14, the series moved from DIY Network to Magnolia Network for season 15. While the network might be new, the show hasn’t changed at all. Mark Bowe and the team are still at it, building up barns and cabins or tearing them down.
The new season took the “Barnwood Builders” crew all across the Southeast. From taking down an old barn for spare parts near their hometown of White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, to building a lakeside cabin in Langston, Alabama, this season has everything fans love about “Barnwood Builders.” Whether building up or tearing down historic structures, the joke-cracking, pun-making crew share the secrets of the trade with viewers, including some new techniques they have added to their repertoire.
What’s “Barnwood Builders” About?
Following businessman and craftsman Mark Bowe and his team of builders, “Barnwood Builders” showcases the reclamation and restoration of pioneer-era buildings in the southeastern area of America. Mark’s company, Barnwood Living, purchases old barns and log cabins. Depending on the quality and history of the structure, the builders will try to restore and rebuild the building elsewhere. However, not all buildings can be restored, but can still be used for spare parts in other restorations or design projects in modern homes.
Barnwood Living is the official storefront of Mark’s company, but most of the work happens either on location or in the Boneyard. The Boneyard is where Mark’s crew stores reclaimed buildings and materials, as well as works on various restoration projects. While the majority of “Barnwood Builders” centers around the crew’s ability to rebuild or tear down old structures, they also spend time showing viewers the craftsmanship that goes into building log cabins and barns. That happens in the Boneyard.
What makes this show so unique is that it goes beyond a typical reality show or design show to teach the viewers about the art of log cabins. Every crew member is knowledgeable and passionate about the craftsmanship that goes into building these old structures. What’s more, they enjoy showing off great craftsmanship when they find it. They never hesitate to display how things are made.
Beyond building, “Barnwood Builders” focuses on the history surrounding the buildings featured. No matter what part of the country the crew visits, they touch on a little part of history. Usually visiting various local craftsmen, such as a blacksmith, ferrier, or woodworker, the crew explores the history of different trades. They also visit local historical sites, speak with historians, and take a step back in time with reenactors.
What Happened in Season 15 of “Barnwood Builders?”
Season 15 of “Barnwood Builders” is full of firsts for the Boneyard crew. Early in the season, they are called to salvage an old Finnish cabin up in Pennsylvania. This is the first time in his 20-year career that Mark has seen a Finnish cabin. The crew is excited to see the signature Finnish lock-joint style in action. They hope to give the old log home new life when they reconstruct it in the future.
Close to home, the crew gets to build something for their fellow Virginians. When asked to put together a massive timber-frame barn structure for a wedding venue, they are faced with a unique challenge. How can they support such a massive building without any center posts? Luckily Mark and Sherman are master craftsmen.
In Townsend Tennessee, the team faces another first when they are asked to build a cabin inside a local museum. Without their heavy-duty equipment and machinery, the crew has to find a unique way to put together the old cabin. Mark described them as “six hillbillies in a gift shop,” as they wheeled in the logs between museum displays.
The highlight of season 15, however, is the deconstruction and reconstruction of the historic Russels Fort. Mark and the crew are hired to take down a legendary fort in Lake Lure, North Carolina. Originally built in 1775, the structure offered the local community a safe space to meet leading up to the revolutionary war. The crew is tasked with taking the log cabin down, restoring damaged parts, then rebuilding it five miles away along the Lake Lure waterfront. There it will remain a part of the history of the community.
The Main Cast Members of “Barnwood Builders”
Over the last 15 seasons, the crew at the Boneyard has changed. Mark is always looking for the best craftsmen to work with on his team. Here is a list of the current cast as of season 15.
Back in 1995, Mark founded Antique Cabins and Barns, a company that would eventually become Barnwood Living. He has a passion for history, craftsmanship, and preservation. This led him to create a crew that has since helped him reclaim more than 500 pioneer-era structures over the years.
In 2013, he began working with Silent Crow Arts to create “Barnwood Builders,” and has been with the show since season one. Mark is the host of the show, but he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
He works on building or tearing down structures just as much as the rest of his crew. What’s more, his inner historian loves to get off-site to learn about the local history or visit local craftsmen in the area.
After working with fellow builder Sherman Thompson for years reclaiming cabins and barns, they were approached by Mark Bowe who wanted to combine their skills for his new company.
Since the three men have teamed up, their business has thrived. A fan-favorite member of the Boneyard crew, Johnny is known for his lighthearted personality, wealth of knowledge, and demolition skills.
He is always the one behind the wheel whenever a structure needs to come down quickly and in pieces. Johnny has also gained a bit of fame for his artwork, featuring old buildings and structures.
Sherman has been working with Johnny and Mark for years and has starred in “Barnwood Builders” since season one.
As the main foreman on the worksite, it doesn’t look like Sherman is going anywhere anytime soon. Working with old buildings is his career, and he loves every minute of it.
He is a very private person and doesn’t share too much about his personal life on air. However, he is always ready to share about his passion for pioneer craftsmanship.
Where Does Mark Bowe From “Barnwood Builders” Live?
Mark Bowe lives in Lewisburg, West Virginia. His businesses, Barnwood Living and the Boneyard are both located in White Sulphur Springs. However, he calls anywhere in Greenbrier County home.
Will “Barnwood Builders” be Renewed for Season 16?
As of this article, Magnolia Network has not announced a season 16 of “Barnwood Builders.” This is the first season the show has aired on Magnolia Network and remains popular amongst fans. What’s more, “Barnwood Builders” fits perfectly with the Magnolia Network, so fingers are crossed that viewers will get to see more of the crew going forward.
Where Can You Watch “Barnwood Builders?”
Whether you need to catch up on the latest season or want to start watching from the beginning, there are plenty of places to watch “Barnwood Builders” online. Catch up on the latest episodes through Magnolia.com or Discovery+. You can also watch via Hulu with a subscription or by buying episodes through Amazon Prime Video.
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