Cantilever barns originated centuries ago in Europe and were brought to Cades Cove by the original white, European settlers.  A cantilever barn is different in design from a regular barn in that the upper story was larger than its base. Large barns were common in the Cove as farmers needed a place to keep their hay dry and shelter for their animals.  The livestock would stand underneath the over hang in order to get out of the sun or rain.  The large eaves on the cantilevered barns were also needed for storage for their farm equipment as there were no posts or walls to get in the way.