Historical Society Barn Preservation Programs Spotlighted.
Long part of the visual landscape of a once rural McHenry County, the big dairy barns of this area continue to disappear. Whether through neglect and abandonment or by demolition or fire this part of our architectural history has become just that, history.
In 1999, the McHenry County Historical Society began a program of registering the remaining barns of this county. By collecting information on barns, their builders, locations, dimensions and usage, the Society hoped to maintain records and photographs in one central place. To date 99 barns of all types have been added to this list and the barn owners provided with certificates of registration. The barn registration program does not restrict owners in the use of their property in any way and only seeks to record the existence of these rural structures.
A few short years later the historical society added another barn awareness program with its quilted barn project. This project combines public art in the form of painted quilt designs applied to the sides of barns. Approximately 50 of these barn quilts have been undertaken in this county and they can be seen throughout the Midwest as more realize the natural partnership between barns as backgrounds for public art. The historical society is currently working on an updated self-guided driving tour of the county’s quilted barns.
Individuals interested in learning more about either and/or both of these barn programs should contact the McHenry County Historical Society either by phone at 815-923-2267 or view the Society website www.mchsonline.org. (click on The Society - Barn Programs).