Salt Fork Ranch

Recognition Award Winner

Location: Illinois
Year of Award: 2004
Original Use: Cattle, Hay
Current Use: Cattle, Hay

Salt Fork Ranch-Homer, IL after rehabilitation.

In describing the barns Shelley says, "The barns were always filled with cattle and hay when I was growing up."  In fact her grandfather, who had built the two connected barns in 1905 and 1908, held frequent auctions and shipped the purchased livestock on rail cars directly from the barns to Chicago.  The original sign read, "Lon Libka, prop. Salt Fork Stock Exchange," a marquis for the original 500 acre farm. After several years of renters, the barns are once again filled with beloved livestock. 

During the restoration, the roof was supported by jacks as rotten top plates were replaced.  A lean-to and a poor garage addition were removed.  26 gallons of red paint and 10 gallons of white paint were hand brushed into well prepared original boards.  It is now a testament to the work of three generations and it was done with sweat equity and $6,000, which is far below the amount estimated for a new building. 

The sign currently reads, "Salt Fork, Shelley Libka Place."  The sign fits the barn well, overlooking the 2,200 acre farm and the 9 year old cattle business run by Shelley Place.