Ohio Saxon Barns

The barn of choice in these situations was derived from the north German plain, where it has been described as the Saxon barn (Wilhelm 1992, 70). Germans from Lower Saxony migrated to Mercer and Auglaize counties of western Ohio in the 1830s. In Ohio, the barn which they erected differed considerably from the housebarn they had built in Germany. First, the house and barn parts were separated. Second, the internal arrangements of the barn were changed reflecting the structure of other Ohio barns of Germanic origin. Finally, the door shifted from the gable end to the side, a position common to all the barns thus far discussed. What was retained from the original type was squarish plan, a gentle roof pitch, and a three window configuration on the gable wall. With floor plan dimensions of up to 50 or 100 feet, the roof must be of large size. Its extent is further accented by low side walls. The gable wall is perforated by three small, square or rectangular windows located high up, a feature of the original Saxon housebarn. The interior is usually subdivided into three to five bays, including straw or hay mows, threshing floor, cow stanchions, storage and feed preparation area, and horse stalls (Wilhelm 1981, 8). Barns of this type are relatively few in number and restricted to the extreme western fringe of the state.