Around 1981, this barn in the RM of Yellowhead was featured in a Manitoba Co-operator series on rural architecture. The original caption for the photograph is given below.
This red barn near Rossburn is similar to many in the province in design, function, and age. What is has that attracts interest from travelers is something that most barns in Western Canada no longer possess – a character picture over the main entrance. At one time, portraits of animals or farm activities were popular among barn-builders, a reflection perhaps of the competition between farmers to add ornate designs or fancy features that put their particular structure “one-up” on the neighbours. This barn is owned by Jean Mervyn, granddaughter of William Henry Armstrong, who built the 62-foot by 58-foot barn in 1911. The picture was painted by Frank Steele of Vista, who retired to British Columbia many years ago.
Ms. Mervyn died in 2010, at the age of 75 years, and the property has been vacant since 2012. The surrounding farm land has been rented to local farmers. The barn was still standing as of 2015 but is in need of repairs.
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Armstrong Farm (Municipality of Rossburn)
We thank Bernadine and Brian Brown for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Bob Hainstock, Ed Ledohowski, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 25 April 2021
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