About 100 years ago, a farmer in Kansas was going through so much Portland cement that the Portland Cement Association did a story on it. The farm featured a concrete barn, concrete chicken coop, concrete garage, concrete watering tanks, concrete porch, concrete wood stove and other structures, such as the concrete arches that supported the grape arbor. "[My grandfather] was a great believer in cement," says grandson C.J. Ballou said, "because of the permanence, I think."

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