Historic Sites of Manitoba: Allison Barn (RM of Roland)

Around 1981, this barn in the Rural Municipality of Roland was featured in a Manitoba Co-operator series on rural architecture. The original caption for the photograph is given below.

This 80-year-old barn was originally raised in true neighbourly fashion by the Allison family and friends in the Roland area. After the 56-foot by 66-foot foundation had been built with stones hauled by horse and wagon from Morden stocks 14 miles away, timber materials for the main frames were cut, numbered, and laid out on the ground. The next day many neighbours joined in a barn-raising bee and had the job completed by nightfall. Owned originally by David Allison, the farm later went to Ross and is currently operated by Lyall Allison. Utilizing the broad vertical siding common to barns found in Eastern Canada in the 1700s and 1800s, the Allison barn is wider than most buildings of this type, thus making the gable peaks much higher than normal. The lower level was originally used for cattle and horses, while the upper level was used exclusively for storage of hay, seed, or grain. In Western Canada, this style of barn with stone lower wall and ramp access to upper levels is generally referred to as an “Ontario” barn, while in Ontario you sometimes will hear it referred to as a “Pennsylvania” barn. The Allison barn is only a year older than the nearby town of Roland. Also, the two sites share a common heritage – hospitality. According to local history buffs, two railway scouts in 1899 made their home with Roland MacDonald, a pioneer living near the proposed town site. In appreciation for his hospitality, the railway official named the future town Roland, with construction starting almost immediately.

It was destroyed by fire in 1994.

Allison Barn

Allison Barn (circa 1981)
Source: Bob Hainstock

Site Location (lat/long): N49.33812, W98.01835
denoted by symbol on the map above


We thank Doug Irwin for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Bob Hainstock, Ed Ledohowski, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 7 April 2018

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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