May 2016: My portfolio of pictures of barns as we drove through Northern Ontario to Manitoba was growing. I had discovered that typically the barns on the Northern shores of Georgian Bay were constructed of field stone foundations, with vertical barn boards. The barns were often built on a hill with the second storey used for hay, accessible from an upper entry. A lower storey, typically for the animals was accessed from the level ground at the bottom of the hill. As we headed into Manitoba, the construction of Barns appeared to change. Generally the barns were much larger, and of interest is that the visible boards were horizontal. The barns, with horizontal boards appeared to have heavy timber framing, and sometimes sub-framing. The ground was typically flat.
This particular barn was located, south of Winnipeg. We followed St. Mary’s Road adjacent to the Red River. As it was May, our days were light longer, and Jim’s cousins joined in after dinner, my quest for taking pictures and recording Barns.
As I researched Manitoba barns I discovered that in the 1930’s you could order house plans and BARN plans from the T. Eaton Company Ltd. The original PLAN Book stated: ‘The layout and general arrangements of our Barns and other farm buildings is based on the experience of a number of the most successful farmers and stock raisers in the West, as well as being submitted and passed on by experts from our agricultural colleges and experimental farms. Our plans can be relied on to contain the latest and best ideas of arrangement and equipment. After giving the THE DESIGNS shown in this book careful study, select your choice and write us for quotation on the material needed for building, and we will forward you a guaranteed price on the lumber and millwork delivered to your station.”
Many of us have read the children’s story book – the Hockey Sweater, by Roche Carrier. T. Eaton plays a role in supplying a mail order hockey sweater. Who knew? The same mail order company could send plans for a barn, it appears the lumber, and a hockey sweater.