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Swyter Barn

Swyter Barn, 1990 James Ave, Britt (Hancock County)

Barn was built in 1917 by William Swyter, a prominent early settler in Erin Township.   Constructed from glazed hollow clay tile designed by Iowa State University, which provided insulated and draft free walls for greater animal comfort (also fireproof).  The barn’s main use was for housing draft horses and dairy cows.   It was later used for hogs, chickens, and beef cattle.   The hay loft holds 100 tons of loose hay.  At high noon, the carrier track which extends outside the roof peak, casts a shadow straight down on the hay door serving as a sundial signaling it was time to come in for dinner when the shadow was straight down.  The barn is well maintained and currently serves as a home for a horse, chickens, and cats.  It is owned by Ross Swyter, William’s grandson (Award of Distinction).

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