Other Traditional Barns

Not all barns fit neatly into the classification systems of cultural geographers, folklorists, anthropologists, or other scholarly observers. Some barns employ a combination of features perhaps derived from several types, but put together by innovative builders. Others are true examples of ethnic structures, but because the group was so few in numbers, these barns are rare and always highly localized. A few one story, gable-entry, timber frame barns still stand in the Welsh settlement areas in Allen county (Noble and Cleek 1995, 84-85), and at least one Dutch barn has been identified by Hubert Wilhelm (1995, 75) in Mercer county. Amish-Mennonite farmers built a different barn in the area around Madison county (Wilhelm 1976). These structures are unusual in having a pent roof on one side, sheltering stock access doors, and an off-center wagon door beneath a cantilevered hood. Unlike most other barns employed by other Germanic groups, this structure is not banked.

In some other areas, the agricultural system which emphasized certain products in restricted areas resulted in unusual barns specifically designed for these conditions. In southwestern Ohio, especially in the Miami valley, and further south in Brown and Adams counties are a few, transverse frame barns, relics of the tobacco raising era of the turn of the century. These "rather flat-roofed tobacco barns" also often have roof-mounted ventilators and movable side panels (Wilhelm 1983, 20). Often these barns have a small, attached building called a stripping shed in which the tobacco leaves are removed from the coarse stem. The shed is recognizable by its chimney flue, required to vent the gasses from the stove. Boiling water is necessary to raise the humidity and facilitate the stripping.