Bender Farm

Recognition Award Winner

Location: South Dakota
Year of Award: 2007
Original Use: Horses
Current Use: Equipment Storage, Hay, Livestock, Other

Bender Farm-Mitchell, SD after rehabilitation.

Ed Bender was only five years old in 1916, when his father built the round arch barn that anchors his family's 800-acre farm.  But he still remembers his father's specific instructions to the carpenters, asking that they include a distinctive concave pointed arch above the opening to the hayloft. "(My father) thought that if you have a round barn, you should have a round roof. He wanted it to be different," says Ed Bender.

The arch looks as good as new today, after the Bender family's recent work. The Benders painted the barn as well as re-shingled the roof, which currently houses livestock, feed, and farm equipment. 

Scott has yet to find another barn in the area with the distinctive peak design. He says that he has, "been in all 50 states and has never seen a barn with a curved peak, like this barn has." And it was this one-of-a-kind peak and Ed Bender's memories of scaling the barn's curved walls that motivated the Benders to preserve their historic barn.