Back Home in Indiana and…. farm barns with their county road naming systems

It was late Summer when I went back home this year; back home to Indiana, and as usual I was looking forward to the trip for a variety of reasons: 

# 1, I’ll get to see and be with mom, my four sisters, my brother, nieces, nephews, and… my friends of “over the years”.

# 2 was a little special because of the probability to re-connect with many high school classmates — we were having THE reunion, the big ‘un, to celebrate 50 yrs since our graduation.  I was cranked, anticipating and lookin’ forward cause this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal (I’m thinking).

So in recap… I’m gonna be with family, re-live high school happenings, refresh memories of the places, times, and countryside for nearly a week but….  one of my most anticipated to-do’s of this trip was to find and photograph interesting farm barns.  Northern Indiana is rich, rich, rich with family farm barns.

My mom, bless her…. and my first cousin Clara (Clara is a Las Vegas resident and Indiana visitor this week)…  they’ve both riden many miles with me pursuing the next, what I call, “an interesting farm barn”.  To make the proverbial long story short… we found a few this time… and I’m posting pictures now…  (you gotta appreciate barns or this can get really boring — just saying).

Here goes….  photos, locations, and thoughts on the 8 or 9 barns I call “most interesting” of this trip.  All together I collected, I think 22 so-called “keepers”.  My present goal is to accumulate a thousand barn images… from all over America… am a little over half way there now.


Located west of Nappanee, N County Rd 1050W, on the east side, about a quarter mile south of Kosciosko Co. line.  That’s a mile and a quarter south of “the viaduct” and everyone local knows where that is.  This roof style is probably most common in Indiana and is called “Gable style”.



Gwin’s Corner {and I get a kick out of this memory cause it makes me think of Max Gwin, the nationally read, Nappanee cartoonist, popular when I was a kid); go west a mile and a half (you’ll be on  W CR 1350N – don’t you just love the Kosciosko Co road naming system. <grin>  The barn is on the road’s south side.  If you drive to N CR 950W you’ve gone 3/8th mile too far.  This is a Dutch Gambrel style roof.  Notice the little flares outward at the very bottom.



On of my favorite favorite farm barns, a classic design but with that big and unusual cupola (unusual for Northern Indiana and Amish Country).  I first photographed this barn about 5 years ago and was pleased to see it now be part of the Marshall County Quilt Barn Tour.  It’s on the southeast corner of Cedar Road and 3B.  Marshall County has a very different (from Kosciosko Co.) road naming scheme.  Here, again, the Gable style roof.



On north side of 8A Rd about a half mile east of King Rd, again in Marshall County.  This is 4, 5 miles northeast of Plymoth.  I enjoyed the classic shape, the empty hay wagon and the “1908” tiled into the roofing.  Here we have the English Gambrel style roof (no outward flare at the roof bottom).


This used to belong to Nappanee’s Dr Roose and family.  It’s on the south side of CR 52 and just west of the CR3 corner.  This is a mile north and a mile west of “the square” in Nappanee.  I’ve known this barn since childhood cause Mom’s dad and uncles had farms both east and west of here.  I was born in a farm house just a long mile away.  The farm apparently is home to an Old Order Amish family now.


This quilt barn sits on the Elkhart County Bonneyville Mills Park property.  That’s on County Rd 8 near the town of Bristol — east a couple miles.  This quilt barn tour thing s gaining momentum in many states as a way to draw attention to, and hopefully encourage the maintenance of these oft-unused and fragile past-generation farm barns.  The decaying barns to me are a sad casualty of our move away from family farming.  Again the English Gambrel style roof.  My dad used to call this a “hip roof”.


This barn raised my blood pressure with excitement.  I couldn’t believe the good fortune when we spotted it just a few minutes after leaving Bonneyville Mills Park.  Its on the west side of CR 131 and just south of CR 129.  This is Elkhart County with yet another method of road naming.  Here again is a Gable roof style.  I wonder why the row of windows, maybe vents, high on the side?   Makes me think it may’ve been used to house chickens at some time.


Am anxious to see the future of this barn.  It’s on the north side of State Rd 119 in Elkhart Co as you travel from Wakarusa toward Goshen.  I think it’s near CR 38 and on the site of a new farm implement/suppy business preparing to build.  The barn will be restored, I understand.  Watch for updates — it’ll be exciting for all you farm barn enthusiasts — assuming there are some.   Call me, email, tweet… whatever;  I’d love to know.



And this barn, also a stop on Marshall County’s Quilt Barn Tour is west of Quince Rd on CR 2B on south side (that’s just a few miles from Walkerton, way west of Bremen).  The quilt pattern is named “Blazing Star”.  I had allowed time on my drive back to Chicago’s Midway airport to look for this.  There are a number of very interesting barns in this wooded farm country and next time back I hope to capture more.  This barn again features the English Gambrel style.  I’m assuming the most common style, the Gable, to be the easiest and least expensive to build.

I grew up in Elkhart County and have always thought it’s road naming system to be the most easy to understand and to use.  The east-west roads all are assigned even numbers beginning with “2”on the north county side and the north-south roads have the odd numbers beginning with “1” on the west county side, progressing higher going eastward.  Our family farm was on the corner of County Rds 9 and 52 so it was simple in my mind to find us… we’re 4 miles east of the west county line (9 divided by 2) and 26 miles south of the north boundary (the same mathematics;  52 divided by 2).

I think it kinda cool… we’ve traveled 3 adjoining Indiana counties and each one has a distinctly DIFFERENT road naming system.  I think I’d get lost in Kosciosko County and in Marshall County I’d need to memorize a lot of tree names.  I just don’t understand.  To each his own I guess.

ps….  check this website page for more farm barn stuff…    and if you have any barn related info you think I might like… please, please, please turn me on to it.



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