Early History

The Barns of Wabaunsee County

sump-barn-c-1921

The Henry Sump barn, seen here, was constructed of solid walnut, cut on the site, along with native limestone quarried locally. Sump was struck by lightning and died at his ranch in 1920 while operating a manure spreader.

Wabaunsee County enjoys a rich ranching heritage which is reflected in the many expansive barns which adorned the landscape. All of late 19th century and early 20th century barns had large hay lofts to accommodate the storage of loose hay. Later, the loft provided storage for small bales of hay.

Barns which had cupolas attached to the top signify buildings where stock were kept in the basements.  The cupola allowed water vapor created by livestock’s breath to escape the barn.

schepp-003

This Charles Herman color slide of the Schepp Barn was taken in the 1970s.

By the 1980 there were no more barns being constructed which contained hay lofts, as haying operations had almost exclusively moved to large round bales which could be stored in pole barns or simply stacked in the weather.

Another changing feature of Flint Hills barns was the evolution to metal buildings for barn siding and construction. After 1980 there were virtually no barns constructed of wood, and absolutely none constructed of stone in Wabaunsee County.

Click on any image below to view all images in a gallery format.

2 replies »

  1. GREG, THANKS FOR SHARING. GLEN CZIRR AND I TOURED THE BARN NEARLY 10 YEARS AGO. IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST UNIQUE BARNS I’VE SEEN. THANKS FOR SHARING AND THE WAY TO CLICK INTO BARNS IN WABSUNSEE COUNTY. LOVE BARNS AND WINDMILLS. KEN GNADT

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