Built in 1899 on the John Fox farm near Darlington WI
In 2009, Dodge County hosted the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Show. The County was blessed with remaining funds and voted to provide funding, in the form of grants, to non-profit and public organizations. The criteria for the grant included: Creating a community and consumer awareness of the importance and impact of agriculture Developing innovative educational agriculture experiences or projects Offering educational leadership skill building opportunities and support for youth, families, and adults in Dodge County
Lyle Kurtz, an avid collector and long time member of the DC APC had recently donated an extensive amount of milking machines, stanchions and other dairy equipment to the club. The Club did not have an appropriate area to display his wonderful collection. Dale Schwantes was President of the Club at this time. A motion was made and seconded to find someone to write the grant so as to attain funds to begin the process of building a structure for which to house Lyle’s collection. David Laatsch stepped forward and did just that.
Soon after, a committee was formed to investigate and gather information for the search and acquisition of a suitable barn. Bill Madison headed up the project, along with other club members. Through word of mouth, Derrick Luck, proprietor of Old Wood New Use, located near Blue River, WI heard about the club’s search for a barn to relocate to the show grounds. Derrick had recently purchased a barn in Lafayette County for repurposing and was willing to donate it to the club. The barn, though not a typical Dodge County barn, was built in 1899 and located on the John Fox farm near Darlington.
On a very cold wintery day in March of 2014, the Barn Committee traveled to Darlington to inspect the barn. The members found the timbers to be in good shape despite the barns age. The gabled dormer is very unusual, perhaps more typical of a Scandinavian style barn. Besides donating the barn, Derrick Luck mapped the timbers on the barn. Additionally, Derrick loaded the barn onto one of our member’s flat bed trailers for the long haul across our beautiful state and to its new home on the DCAPC show grounds.
It took several years, along with many challenges and set-backs to get the barn completed as it is seen today. On the upper level of the barn you will find Lester Kurtz’s milking equipment and stanchions displayed, along with vacuum pumps, fanning mills and various equipment used for milking from bygone days. Electricity has recently been installed, so the barn will be a great place to gather after the show each evening for some good music. Most recently the barn received a generous donation of a barn loom (circa mid 1800’s) from Michelle Zahn. Why is it called a barn loom? Perhaps because the basic frame of the loom is similar to the framing of a barn. Or more simply, it may because of its massive size and inability to fit inside the average size home. Demonstrations using the loom are being planned during the steam show.
The lower level has cow stanchions, 3 horse stalls, as well as pens for small animals. All were built by our committee members and represent the turn of century time period. During the show every year in August, live animals are kept in the pens for our visitor friends to observe and enjoy. The barn is a continually evolving piece of the Dodge County Steam Club. We have bigger and better plans for the future!
Follow along on the journey the barn took to its current location on our grounds