19th century corn belt barns focus of program

Bill Kemp Bill Kemp

The Barn Keepers of Central Illinois’ virtual program  on the barns of McLean County from the latter 19th-century barns now is available for viewing on YouTube.

To watch, click here: “McLean County Barns in the Late 19th Century.

In this program, Bill Kemp, Barn Keepers board president, shares images of richly detailed farm illustrations such as the two accompanying this article. 

Illustrations also include selections from the books, 1874 Atlas of McLean County and the 1887  Portrait and Biographical Album of McLean County.

As part of the program, Kemp narrates the slide show, and puts these illustrations into the context of the county’s architectural and cultural landscape during the 1800s.

This marks the second of Barn Keepers’ virtual programs. Previously, barns from the 1940s were highlighted.
For more information, about the program, email Kemp at BKemp@mchistory.org

Barn preservation work continues

The Barn Keepers Board–wearing masks and practicing social distancing–met on January 14, 2021, at the FS Building on Hershey Road in Bloomington.

Looking ahead: Plans under way for fall 2021 barn tour

Faced with the specter of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, the Barn Keepers board decided to cancel the September 2020 Barn Tour. This would have been our 15th consecutive tour, with the spotlight this year on the northeastern McLean County townships of Anchor and Cropsey. Now, the board turns its attention to fall 2021.

Until then, please enjoy here, our 34-page 2019 Tour Guide. The booklet features histories of the Sept. 14, 2019 tour’s featured barns, as well as information about several area sites including Patton Cabin and the old Blacksmith Shoppe.

Barn Keepers is a McLean County, Illinois-based not-for-profit organization devoted to the documentation, preservation, restoration, and celebration of area barns.

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