Photos by owner, Sept 17, 2021
“Big Red,” formerly known as the “Barker Barn,” is reportedly over 140 years old, and confirmed by Abstract to be absolutely not younger than 1912. It houses original stalls and layout, along with a custom 3’ x 6’ stained glass window. Originally dubbed the “Barker Barn” because the previous owner was Seth Barker, owner of Iowa Barker Implement. Prior, it has been rumored to have served as a test facility for Morrell Meat Packing in Ottumwa.
The barn structure has a massive middle raise with a steeply pitched, hipped primary roof. It is flanked by two long wings; the east wing for larger animals like cows and horses, and the west wing for goats and sheep.
The barn boasts several custom stalls for milking cows or stabling horses, smaller pens for goats or sheep, almost a full floor for chickens, loft, and multiple feeding areas.
The barn appears to have had only four owners over its long history. Every effort has been made to maintain “Big Red’s” majesty and authenticity. Renovations by the current owner include a new shingled roof, new wood-frame windows, new 2” x 6” cottonwood siding repairs where needed, concrete foundation and footing repair, and lots of love from new residents.
Currently “Big Red” is home to five genial goats, four fierce geese, three dapper ducks, and countless chunky chickens. Future improvements may include an outdoor chicken run and harnessing corral for two horses.
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