The round barns of Fulton County, Indiana

I can’t believe that when my friend Dawn and I made our tour of Fulton County’s round barns ten years ago that I didn’t upload all of my photographs to Flickr. I uploaded photos of only one round barn, the one below. Dawn and I got to tour it. I wrote about it here.

Round barn

Fulton County has eight round barns, though I’m sure it used to be far more. Several of the barns are easily seen from county roads.

Round barn

A few of the barns are on the Fulton County Museum site. This is one.

Round barn

This is another. On the day we visited, they were celebrating old tractors and there was a bit of a fair/flea-market atmosphere.

Round barn

A couple round barns were partially hidden from the road. We weren’t about to trespass to get better photographs, but that didn’t prevent one property owner from driving out to warn us away.

Round barn

This final round barn is the pro shop for the golf course in Rochester’s Lakeview Park. It was built in 1910, but received extensive renovations when it was moved to the park.

"Round barn"

Most of these barns were built in the 1910s after Purdue University began recommending them. They were efficient and economical in their time. For an explanation of why, check out this article at the Fulton County Historical Society.

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16 responses to “The round barns of Fulton County, Indiana”

  1. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

    A round barn seems very northern European for some reason. Interesting buildings. Why round, I wonder?

    1. marcusterrypeddle Avatar

      Ah-ha! Didn’t see the link when I first read the post.

    2. Jim Grey Avatar

      They definitely had a purpose, as you read in the other post! Today they’re just quaint.

  2. J P Avatar

    I had never understood round barns but now I do, thanks to you and the link you included. And now that I have learned something new I can start my day.

    It seems that what made them more efficient for the agriculture of the time made them less useful for modern agriculture than are traditional rectangular barns, which struggle enough for relevance as it is.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I suppose that’s why so many of them have been torn down.

  3. brandib1977 Avatar

    Lovely barns, lovely photos. Round barns are a rare and remarkable sight around here. You were fortunate to get that tour and I must admit- I’m green with jealousy!! Lol.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s a pretty remarkable thing that Fulton County has so many! A road trip for your future.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        I’ll add it to my list!

  4. thedullchannel Avatar

    Quite interesting. Nice that they reused some of them. Old barns here in Europe are usually just box shaped.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Same here. Round barns are quite unusual.

  5. Khürt Williams Avatar

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a round barn in New Jersey, but supposedly there are several in upstate New York. This type of barn appears mostly in canter of the USA, From what I read, 219 round barns were constructed in Indiana between 1850 and 1936.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Not many of those 219 remain, and the largest concentration is in Fulton County!

  6. Kodachromeguy Avatar

    What fantastic examples of an unusual architectural style! There is also a round barn in Arcadia, Oklahoma, on Route 66:

    The wood craftsmanship for the interior of the roof is fantastic.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’ve driven right past it and never noticed it!

      Here’s the interior roof of the first barn photographed above:

  7. Kurt Ingham Avatar
    Kurt Ingham

    So cool! Thanks

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Isn’t it though? Thanks for your encouragement!

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