Robben Farm

Recognition Award Winner

Location: Kansas
Year of Award: 2003
Original Use: Dairy, Hay
Current Use: Calving, Equipment Storage, Grain

Robben Farm-Grinnell, KS after rehabilitation.

In describing the barn Charles says, "You can tell how important a barn was years ago because they sheeted the roof solid and our house has spaces between the sheeting."  Both their 1910's house (in spite of the cut corners) and 1920's barn are still standing due to continued upkeep and maintenance.  The barn was built on an existing foundation after the original had been lost to fire. 

The unusually shaped structure, which is as high as it is long, is used today for calving, hay and equipment storage.  Straw bales are still stored in the barn for winter use and bedding.  The center of the barn had stanchions and milking equipment into the 1960's, crates for farrowing sows into the 1970's and is now housing grain and equipment.  The south side of the barn retains stalls used for calving or inclement weather shelter and the north side has equipment storage.  "We use our barn daily," says Beatta.

The latest bit of upkeep involved its gothic roof.  It has been innovatively covered with long sheets of custom cut tin to avoid horizontal seams.  A rope was brought over the top of the barn, secured below and then the workers attached safety belts at various places on the rope.  Doing one vertical sheet at a time, they secured one and moved to the next.  When the Robbens are asked how to find their farm, they simply reply, "Look for the big white barn with the silver roof."