The Barn on the Grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association

The Barn on the Grounds of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association 

by

Brian Wayne Wells

           This article remains under construction.  Periodically, new blocks of text will appear in the article and/or   current blocks of text will be corrected.

The restored Almena barn was restored and rebuilt on the grounds of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association.

In the spring of 2016 a new structure arose on the grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association.  This was a barn that had been originally built in the 1880s near the small village of Almena, Wisconsin.  The Village of Almena is located in Barron County in Wisconsin.  Indeed the Village of Almena is located on the  eastern boundary of the “Town” of Almena.  The word “Town” should not be confused with the word “village.”  In Wisconsin, the word Town refers to a piece of land 6 miles by 6 miles square.  In other states this geographical piece of land would be called a “Township.”

In this case, the most of the territory of the Village of Almena is located in Almena Town within Barron County.  However, there is a small piece of the Village of Almena that is located within the neighboring Town of Clinton also located within Barron County.

On the right side of this photo is a county map of Wisconsin, showing the location of Barron County in Wisconsin. On the left side of the photo is a map of Barron County which is divided into 25 individual “Towns.” This map also shows to location of the small Village of Almena which located on the eastern border of the Town of Almena. Indeed, while most of the Village of Almena is located within the Town of Almena, a small part of the Village of Almena is located in the neighboring Town of Clinton.

The Almena barn which was restored and reconstructed on the grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association is unique for its wood frame construction.  The frame  of the barn was held together totally by wooden pegs without the use of any screws or nails.  It is this total wood construction (which is called the mortise and tendon style of construction) that makes the frame of the barn a very collectable item.

A closeup view of the mortice and tendon style of framing embodied in the framework of the Almena barn which employed no metal nails in holding the frame of the Almena barn together.

The only nails used in the original construction of the barn were the nails used to attach the sheeting to the wood frame to enclosed the frame and make the barn a complete structure.  Once the frame of the barn was carefully re-constructed on the grounds of the Pioneer Power Association the frame was, once again,  covered with new native lumber plank sheeting to make the barn look the way it originally appeared when initially built in Almena Wisconsin.

The Almena barn, as it originally looked at the time that the barn was dismantled in Almena by Rustic Innovations Inc. of Scandia, Minnesota.

Glen Holicky and his brother, Gary Holicky, were the main instigators of the project of bringing this unique barn to the grounds of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association.  Together the brothers, both members of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association  worked with Curt B. Richter from Rustic Innovations of Scandia, Minnesota (651) 491-6430 to obtain the hand-hewed frame of the old barn.

As the Almena barn was carefully dismantled in Wisconsin the interior design of the barn came into view.

The barn was originally built on the land of a farmstead currently owned by Verlin Koehn, (715) 357-3056 Almena, Wisconsin.  It is estimated that the barn was originally built in the 1880s when this farmstead was owned by  on the a

Even the interior of the Almena barn was faithfully restored to its original design.  On the upper level is the reconstructed hay mow.  On the grounds of the LeSueur Pioneer Power Association, the Almena barn is the focus of the field demonstration showing the method by which hay was stored in past.  At the annual August show on the grounds, hay is lifted from wagons by a rope-operated hay loader and stored on this upper level hay mow.

The land on which the Almena barn was built was owned by M. J. Edson or Edward Jacobs.  Ole Oleson, who appears on the 1900 Federal Census was a carpenter living with Edward Brand, a saloon keeper in  the Village of Turtle Lake, Almena Town,
Barron county in Wisconsin, may have constructed the Almena barn initially.  Nels Twean another immigrant born in Norway was also a carpenter living in a rented house in Turtle Lake with his family and appears on the 1900 Federal Census.  Charles Wiggins was another carpenter living in Turtle Lake in 1900.

 Once on the grounds, the  thearose

Glenn Holicky of the LeSueur County Pioneer Power Association worked together with Curt B. Richter from Rustic Innovations of Scandia, Minnesota (651) 491-6430 to obtain the hand-hewed frame of an old barn built on the land in Almena, Wisconsin in Barron County. This barn was originally on the land of a farmstead currently owned by Verlin Koehn, (715) 357-3056 Almena, Wisconsin

 

            The original construction of the Almena barn was mortise and tendon construction which is total wood joints made without metal nails or screws.

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