Barns, Farms, Silos, Stables

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In the early days of Lake County, there were over 1700 working farms. Most of these farms were about 40 acres because that was about all a farmer could plow, seed and harvest with horses or mules. From land plats during this time, it shows many of the adjourning parcels were owned by family members, parents, brothers, uncles, etc. With the advent of the tractor and other engine driven machinery, these parcels were combined. 150 acres were not uncommon in the 1940s.
1900s to Present:
Now acreage can run into the hundreds and in some cases thousand acres. Some of the tractors today are as large as a house and cost even more. These tractors can plow a field in hours rather than days. Sadly, as modern material became available, large wooden barns were no longer needed to protect animals and store crops. Because of the expense of maintaining these wooden barns, many have been allowed to deteriorate or have been demolished for safety reasons or due to cost of liability and fire insurance.
Barn Status:
Some barns, which are in good repair or in poor conditions, are still standing. A few were used by local fire departments for training, others were destroyed by time and weather. Some have been destroyed to make room for commercial and residential development.
Lake County Heritage Farm Foundation (LCHFF):
Around 2007 a group of individuals formed an organization. Below is their Mission Statement.
LCHFFÂȘ is dedicated to the preservation of the cultural heritage of Lake County Illinois. Presently, we are working hard to make our website a comprehensive virtual library that documents the county's agricultural history farm-by-farm in text, pictures, film, and interviews with those who lived it. Our goal is to make the farm life and heritage of the county come alive to a diverse audience and provide a valuable resource to educators, preservationists, genealogists, families, historical societies, and other organized groups.
The organization was dissolved in 2017. Their website was a great source of information when I began my search for barns to photograph. In 2019, I contacted one of their members, Jack Walsh, and he was kind enough to provide me with all the files and photos he had. The last tbs under the Gallery menu displays the 29 images provided. You can read more about this group in History tab.
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