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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Kliese Housebarn (J. Kliese photo, 2005)

Kliese Housebarn (J. Kliese photo, 2005)

Kliese Housebarn (J. Kliese photo, 2005)

Kliese Housebarn interior (J. Kliese photo, 2005)

Kliese Housebarn
N366 CTH EM, Town of Emmett, Dodge County
Date of construction: circa 1850
Architect/ Builder: Unknown

The Kliese Housebarn, also known as the Langholff Housebarn, is an example of a centuries-old building tradition brought from Europe: a building that combined living quarters and agricultural functions. The housebarn design is one single building, which housed all of the family's living support functions, as well as a stable for the farm animals, storage for the crops, and a place to process the crops that are harvested on the farm. The humans lived on one end of the structure and the animals on the other. The swine and sheep were probably put in the cellar below the living space in inclement weather.

The building is of a medieval form of construction called Fachwerkbau, or timber framing. This construction consists of large hand-hewn oak timbers that are assembled into a frame held together with wooden pegs. The frame members were built off-site and numbered for reassembly later. The open areas of the frame are filled with a mixture of clay and straw most often made on-site by the family. Here, some of the fill was later replaced with brick. The Kliese Housebarn also has a Black Kitchen or, in German, schwarze Küche. This is a brick-lined room connected to the main chimney in which a fire was built to smoke and cure meat.

The Kliese Housebarn is a rare survivor of this building type and represents the transfer of traditional building methods and the perpetuation of ethnic identity through living practices. The Kliese Housebarn is located on private property and is not open to the public. Please respect the rights and privacy of the owners.

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