Marshall Ranch

Farm Heritage Award Winner

Location: Nebraska
Year of Award: 2002
Original Use: Cattle, Horses
Current Use: Cattle, Equipment Storage

As the Marshalls considered the fate of their big, gambrel-roofed barn in 1987, they admired the skills of the barn's builder. Originally housing stalls for horses and cattle, the barn was constructed with diagonal sheeting on the inside and cedar siding on the outside to give it extra strength and prevent it from leaning or twisting. "We envision the man who built it as a particular person with a passion for buildings that would stand the test of time," says Donna Marshall.

The decision on the barn's fate wasn't all that difficult in the end. The project included interior structural changes. The stanchions were removed, and the haymow floor raised to the 16-foot plate. A 16-foot-wide, 12-foot-high door was installed to allow clearance for machinery. Cement floors were poured in the front half of the main barn and for the floor of the lean-to. Some foundation work was required on one side of the building, as well as replacement of part of the cedar siding. A steel roof and a fresh coat of white paint capped the exterior portion of the project. The crew hired to handle the work finished in 10 days.

Today, the barn is the busy hub of a beef operation managed by Eugene's son, Jeff. The building also has a shop and is used for machinery storage and the occasional neighborhood gathering and party headquarters.