An extraordinarily picturesque barn near Deerfield, Indiana

I played drums in a metal band when I started my project to visit and take photos of every historic courthouse in Indiana. Between traveling to gigs and courthouses, I spent a lot of time behind the wheel between 2014 and 2017! One day after my band practiced, our singer, Steve, asked me a question. “In all of your driving,” he asked, “have you come across a photogenic old barn?” I admitted that I hadn’t, but said I’d keep my eye out for one.

The former Jacob Whipple barn. Photo taken July 27, 2021.

Steve’s sudden, unexpected interest in agricultural structures resulted from buying a larger house in a different city. He and his wife intended to decorate their new living room with a rustic flavor, and figured that an enlarged canvas print of a great old barn would be the perfect centerpiece. As I remember it, Steve gave me the following characteristics of what he was looking for before I left our rehearsal space. The barn:

  • Must be photogenic
  • Would preferably be red
  • Couldn’t have houses or outbuildings nearby
  • Had to be near a field

I looked and looked as I drove around on other trips and projects. I found a few in Madison and Wabash counties that might have worked, but quickly learned that barns typically sit near houses. Genealogically, I’m not that far removed from farmers since my mom’s grandpa grew corn and soybeans on 120 acres between Muncie and Yorktown, but I’m a suburbanite millennial through and through: I had no idea of how hard it’d wind up being to find what Steve was looking for.

I finally found one when I was driving between schoolhouses in Randolph County! I took this photo in July of 2021. There is an adjacent farmhouse -a 1913 Dutch Colonial Revival bungalow1- on the property, but it’s hidden behind the barn in this shot. I made it looking west from my window as I drove on Indiana 28 towards Deerfield.

Completed in 18602, the barn sits on what was once the Jacob Whipple Farm. Whipple, a Rhode Island native born in 1804, moved to Deerfield when he was forty-three. A farmer and mechanic, he built a steam-powered grist mill just south of town on Mud Creek in 18553. At some point before 1865, Whipple transferred the farm’s ownership to his son, Olney4, and after a century and a half, today the property’s owned by Georgi Family Farms.

I sent Steve the photo, but he and his wife had already settled on a different decorative scheme for their home- four years after he issued the challenge! I can’t say I blame them. Better late than never, but sorry, Steve! 

Sources Cited
1 Randolph County Office of Information & GIS Services. (2023). Parcel ID: 68-04-16-100-013.000-014. Randolph County, Indiana Assessor. map, Winchester, IN.
2 (See footnote 1).
3 Tucker, E. (1882). History of Randolph County, Indiana. book. Chicago, IL; A.L. Kingman.
4 Warner, C.S (1865). 1865 Wall-Map of Randolph County. C.A.O. McClellan & C.S. Warner. Waterloo, Indiana. map.

3 thoughts on “An extraordinarily picturesque barn near Deerfield, Indiana

  1. Ted—Purdue Ag Alumni group has published 2 books on “Barns of Indiana” that you might like.

    Also I remember seeing a nice Round Barn on Hwy 26 going west towards Lafayette from I-69

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was a kid, barns like this were just background scenery that I took for granted. Every year more collapse or catch fire and because they don’t really serve modern agricultural needs, they aren’t replaced. This is really a great photo!


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