We love to see historical buildings preserved so that future generations can appreciate, touch, and see with their own eyes and hands what Western Pioneers created. A perfect example is the Peter French round barn built in the 1870-1880s. This barn has since been restored after looters took a number boards off it in the last century. Placed on the National Register of Historical Places on September 10, 1971, visitors today can appreciate the lonesome beauty in rural Harney County, Oregon.
Peter French was an ambitious and creative cattleman carving out an empire in central Oregon in the last half of the 1800s. In the course of 25 years he created the largest cattle operation in Oregon with over 100,000 acres before being murdered by a settler in 1897. French built three of these round barns to train and work horses. It was more designed to be an enclosed corral rather than a barn. Especially in the wintertime, the horses could be ran in the outside circle and broke in the center arena. Materials such as the juniper posts were hauled in 60 miles from the North.
This particular barn has always been inspiration for us here at RLP. We hope that some of the products we create from barn lumber can conjure up the western romance for our customer that we feel about the historical barns in our area. The next few pictures below show some of the thick stone round walls, well built gates still functioning after 130 years, and other highlights of this glorious architecture.
The below pictures are just a little more eye candy of Oregon barns. These barns are on a current working cattle ranch in New Pine Creek (South Eastern Oregon). If you look closely at some of the pictures you can see early cowboy graffiti from the turn of the century.