Remembering the Red Barn – 1872 to 2020

Timber-framed Barn

Commonly called “the old red barn”, this may have been the oldest original structure at Pioneer Bluffs. The building had many reprieves from destruction over the years. It was rebuilt and restyled a few times and even moved from its original location to make space for a larger barn. The old red barn had a special character that set 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 is the most cost-effective and practical solution for farms and ranches.

During the summer of 2019 strong winds destroyed a large section of the barn’s roof, accelerating deterioration of the entire structure. Steps were taken over past decades to keep it upright as long as possible but the aging beams and infrastructure were becoming too fragile.  The cost of renovation, with estimates approaching almost $300,000, was far beyond the financial means of our foundation.   To help keep our visitors safe and to avoid the indignity of continual decay the barn was taken down in June, 2020.  A few artifacts from the structure were saved and will be included in a future exhibit.

The Log Cabin – built after 1859, restored in 1960

The old red barn and pigs, 1884

A high view of the ranch site taken in 1902

The red barn dominates the background in the 1902 photo of the ranch site.

Irene on horseback in front of the old red barn

Irene Rogler on horseback in front of the “old red barn”

Irene on horseback in front of the old red barn

Undated photo

Picnic tables with red barn in background

Time for a break. Relax at the picnic tables. This photo was taken while the old red barn was still standing.