Round Barn

A bit of history…

The Holmes family’s Round Barn

Holmes family’s Round Barn

2523 Chemin Holmes
The roots of the Holmes family on the Barnston-Ouest territory are profound. In 1897, Williams Henry Holmes and his wife Estella Edna Smith settled down with their three children.

After the fire that destroyed the first barn, the family decided, in 1907, to build a round barn on the land of the family dairy farm.

Why raise a round barn? While working on the New England forest sites, Henry had the opportunity to appreciate the architecture of the round barns, typical of the Shaker communities. To erect his round barn, Williams Henry Holmes appealed to Willis Cramer, a reputed Builder of the area and the owner of the sawmill in the village.

Myth or legend, Shaker Barn

Shaker Barn

Legend has it that the round shape of the Shaker Barn prevents the devil from hiding or assaulting his victims in a corner.

At that time, agriculturists agreed that the two-storey round barn facilitated the operation of a dairy farm despite some obstacles during construction.

The farmer housed the animals at ground level while the hay was stored upstairs in the loft. The animals ate around a silo that rises through the barn’s centre.

And today

After 1910, round barns gave way to rectangular models, better suited to the modernization and mechanization of agriculture.
Of the fifteen existing round barns at the beginning of the twentieth century in the Way’s Mills region, only a few remain. The Holmes Round Barn would be one of the oldest.
The Holmes Barn has been listed as a historic monument by the Municipality of Barnston-Ouest since 2001. It underwent a significant restoration in 2004.
The current round barn is an essential landmark for visitors to Holmes Road.

Building information

  • Height of 10 meters to the joists
  • Central height of 20 meters
  • Central silo on three floors
  • Ground level - cowshed
  • 1st floor - hayloft
  • 2nd floor - bridge for horses to unload hay
  • Wooden ventilation campanile
  • Original cedar shingle roof replaced with steel sheet

See article from La Presse: : À la recherche des dernières granges rondes (ln search of the latest round barns)