1876 – This is an early view of the red barn, an early home, wooden windmill and surroundings.
1894 – Hogs in a corral on the south of the red barn. The barn shows the original vertical plank siding and wooden shingles, now covered with tin.
1914 – styled with white battens
1990 – From the National Register of Historic Places
2017 – The old red barn at Pioneer Bluffs
2019 – Framing details showing cottonwood timber construction. The vertical studs were added several years ago to help prop up the sagging roof.
The Red Barn – constructed in 1872
Now commonly called “the old red barn”, this is the oldest original structure at Pioneer Bluffs*. This summer, strong winds blew off a section of the barn’s roof, making it vulnerable to a quickening deterioration. The building seems to have had many reprieves from destruction over the years. It’s been rebuilt and restyled a few times and even moved from its original location to make space for a larger barn. We’re fortunate that it still exists. It has a special character that sets it apart, as one of the few remaining timber-framed barns built before the 1900s in Kansas. Wooden barns are disappearing across the prairie, giving way to more modern structures. Demolition and replacement the most cost-effective and practical solution for farms and ranches. It is, though, the mission of Pioneer Bluffs to preserve its historic structures. In this case the cost of doing so (estimated at over $300,000) may be prohibitive.
* The log cabin is older, but was moved in from another family site to commemorate the first Rogler cabin which no longer exists.
Some information from Christy Davis:
- There are only 32 timber-framed barns in the state’s historic inventory of 70,000 properties.
- Nine of these have been demolished.
- Only nine of the 32 were in “good” condition when last surveyed.
- Only 19 of the 32 were built before 1900.
- Most of the timber-framed barns are in NE Kansas.