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Learn About Historic Barns

Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory (AHI)
The AHI is a record of historic properties across the state. It includes over a dozen different barn types, which can be searched by "property type" including bank barns, basement barns, threshing barns, tobacco barns, and centric (round and octagonal) barns. Hundreds of barns are included, so it is a good place to start in learning more about barns in your area.

National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation's official list of historic properties and includes many important Wisconsin barns. The National Register database will allow you to learn basic information about State Register- and National Register-listed barns and farmsteads in Wisconsin. Barns are searchable by historic function or area of significance (use the term "agriculture"). Historic name may also be searched using the word "farm" or "barn."

Barn Publications
Many printed publications celebrate the history of barns. Recent books featuring Wisconsin Barns include: Barns of the Midwest edited by Allen G. Noble and Hubert G.H. Wilhelm, The Old Barn Book: A Field Guide to North American Barns and Other Farm Structures by Allen G. Noble and Richard K. Cleek, and The Pennsylvania Barn: Its Origin, Evolution, and Distribution in North America by Robert Ensminger. Barns of Wisconsin by Jerry Apps is solely devoted to the barns of our state.

Wisconsin Barns: Stories in Wood and Stone
Wisconsin Barns is a Wisconsin Public Television program. A related website contains photos, interviews and other barn related information.

University of Wisconsin Madison Steenbock Library
Steenbock Memorial Library maintains an extensive web site with links to information related to agriculture.

The Barn Journal
The Barn Journal is a Web site with general information about barns and traditional farm architecture.

Round Barn Photos
Paul Vreugdenhil has created a Web site featuring photos of Wisconsin round barns.

Algie Shivers: A Builder of Round Barns
Learn the history of African American barn builder Algie Shivers, whose round barns dot rural Vernon County, Wisconsin.

The Americanization of the Barn
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee associate professor Thomas Hubka discusses the evolution of the barn from European prototypes to standardized American barn types.

From the Wisconsin Historical Society Press


Barns of Wisconsin

by Jerry Apps , with photography by Steve Apps

Jerry Apps latest book, "Barns of Wisconsin," takes a closer look at the noble barn, so many of which have been torn down, paved over, left to rot and fall over. However, many barns are still in use, still sturdy a century after being built, and still telling us about the people who built them.

Learn more about this book


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