Notes from the White County Historical Society

By Charlene Shields

Notes from the White County Historical Society as they appear in "The Carmi Times."

Copyright ©2001 by "The Carmi Times" Permission to reprint granted to Cindy Birk Conley and the ILGenWeb by Tammy Knox, editor, "The Carmi Times."

Washington State's oldest barn was built by White County man

A barn said to be the most photographed barn in the State of Washington
and the oldest barn in that state has White County ties.

It was one of three barns built in Washington Territory in the late
1850s by master carpenter Winfield Scott Cleveland, who homesteaded
near what is now Olympia, Wash. Due to his wife's ill health, the
Clevelands returned to the Midwest and bought a small farm near Burnt
Prairie, where they lived out their lives.

The other two barns built by Cleveland in the Washington Territory have
burned, but this one has been carefully preserved on the family farm.
To preserve the integrity of the building, it was decided recently to
re-roof the building with hand-split cedar shake shingles. A man from
Canada was found who knew how to do this kind of work. Price of the barn
roof was $28,000.

The ridgepole of the barn is 150 feet long and is as straight as the day
it was built.

There is still an indentation through the barn lot where Indians wore a
path carrying their canoes to the Black River, which runs just back of
the barn.


The Mary Smith Fay Genealogy Library is open Tuesdays through Saturdays
from 10 to 2.


Address letters to Genealogy, White County Historical Society, PO Box
121, Carmi, IL 62821.

Return to the Notes from the White County Historical Society Page

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The Coordinator for the White County, Illinois ILGenWeb page is Cindy Birk Conley

Copyright © 2001 by Cindy Birk Conley, all rights reserved. For personal use only. Commercial use of the information contained in these pages is strictly prohibited without prior permission. If copied, this copyright notice must appear with the information.