Learn history of barns at Garfield Farm Museum

  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, Garfield Farm Museum special projects director David Bauer will offer two lectures on the barns that gave the Midwest its iconic landscape. A tour of the museum's barns will be included.

    On Saturday, Oct. 21, Garfield Farm Museum special projects director David Bauer will offer two lectures on the barns that gave the Midwest its iconic landscape. A tour of the museum's barns will be included. Courtesy of Garfield Farm Museum

  • Garfield Farm Museum special projects director David Bauer will share his knowledge of barns in two lectures, Barns 101 and Barns 201.

    Garfield Farm Museum special projects director David Bauer will share his knowledge of barns in two lectures, Barns 101 and Barns 201. Courtesy of Garfield Farm Museum

 
 
Updated 10/18/2017 1:39 PM

On Saturday, Oct. 21, Garfield Farm Museum special projects director David Bauer will offer two lectures on the barns that gave the Midwest its iconic landscape.

Barns 101 will be presented at 10 a.m. and Barns 201 at 1 p.m. at the museum, 3N016 Garfield Road, Campton Hills.

 

Barns 101 will focus on barn terminology, their European antecedents, the evolution of the American barn, roof types, and modern barns, which will be followed by a tour of the museum's barns until noon.

It helps to have attended the morning sessions to fully enjoy Barns 201 at 1 p.m., as methods for dating a barn, mortise and tenon techniques, truss designs, barn alterations, timber framing vs. plank and balloon framing, and silos will be discussed, followed by a tour of the barns.

Just as the first log houses that occupied early Illinois are a rare sight today, wooden barns that defined farming in the 19th and 20th century will not survive the 21st century, according to Bauer.

With the changes in agriculture, most historic barns no longer meet the size needs of large machinery or large livestock herds on present day farms.

As a result, forces of nature, consolidation of small farms into large farms, economics, and the passage of time are totally eliminating what was once such a dominate feature of the American countryside.

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However, museums, inveterate barn lovers, and adapting barns for homes and businesses offer a chance that more might survive their initial construction purpose.

The lectures are $6 per person, per lecture and refreshments will be provided. Reservations can be made by contacting the museum at (630) 584-8485 or info@garfieldfarm.org.

Garfield Farm Museum is a 375-acre historically intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn that volunteers and donors are preserving as a living history museum.

The museum is five miles west of Geneva off Route 38 on Garfield Road. Visit www.garfieldfarm.org/.

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