February focus on 19th-century barns

Barn Keepers next program online, via Zoom

6:30 p.m., Thursday, February 11 (speech at 7)

Bill Kemp Bill Kemp

Join Barn Keepers for a lively virtual presentation focused on the many 19th-century barns of McLean County.

Bill Kemp, Barn Keepers board president, will share images of richly detailed farm illustrations such as the two accompanying this article. The top is from Towanda Township.

Illustrations scheduled to be a part of the Feb. 11 program include several images which appear in the books, 1874 Atlas of McLean County and the 1887  Portrait and Biographical Album of McLean County.

As part of the program, Kemp will narrate the slide show, and put these illustrations into the context of the county’s cultural landscape during the 1800s.

Attendees will hear all about


Corn Belt barn architecture and the varied uses of barns in the latter half of the 19th century — as well as an engrossing story or two along the way about farm life during that time period, including during the Civil War era.

And you can catch all the excitement from the safety and comfort of your home, online.
Just log onto our Zoom meeting at the following link:
Or, long onto your Zoom account and enter this information:
Meeting ID: 987 3323 2188
Passcode: 396763
This marks the second of Barn Keepers’ virtual programs. Previously, barns from the 1940s were highlighted.
Again, this will be a program free, and open to the public.
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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