MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
     Keeping history alive for over 143 years

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Davidson Barn (Municipality of Glenboro-South Cypress)

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

As was the custom of most other farmers in North American homesteading during the 18th and 19th centuries, priorities were clear for James Davidson as he arrived in the Cypress River area in 1882. First, the business of farming. Then the comforts of a proper home. It comes as no surprise to barn buffs, therefore, that Mr. Davidson completed this handsome bank barn in 1895, long before he started a comfortable home for his family. Owned today by Preston G. Davidson, the fourth generation Davidson on the gently rolling home quarter, the 4,000 square-foot facility is in remarkably fine condition even without its roof windmill, which was in a 1920s windstorm. The windmill had provided power for both a grinding stone and an elevator which lifted grain to the grain bins which fill the north end of the barn. Gas engines now provide the power services. Two earth driveways on the east side provide access to the loft and elevator. In addition to the vertical siding that is associated with Ontario barn styles, the Davidson barn’s main timbers and framing are held together by wooden dowels only. Floor joists are hand-hewn while the fir planking and siding were brought to the area from British Columbia via railway, which had come to the area six years previously. Measuring 80 feet by 50 feet, and a roof height of about 40 feet, the barn’s foundation is of local stone, lime and sand, but no cement. One of the interesting features of this barn is the pentroof, the small roof running the length of the structure and providing some shelter from the westerly elements. According to barn experts, this word comes from the French word “A pentis” and is the forerunner of the term “penthouse”. The pentroof is common to Ontario or Pennsylvania-style barns, or others with a stone or cement lower wall through which floor joists can protrude to form part of the pentroof framing. This well-maintained barn is located about three miles west and one mile north of Cypress River.

As of May 2013, the barn still stood in the Davidson family farmyard, used mainly for storage.

Davidson Barn

Davidson Barn (circa 1981)
Source: Bob Hainstock

Davidson Barn

Davidson Barn (May 2013)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Aerial view of the Davidson Barn

Aerial view of the Davidson Barn (August 2020)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.58102, W99.16868
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Co-operator Rural Buildings Series


We thank Allan Davidson and George Penner for providing additional information used here.

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

Page revised: 11 January 2021

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

Browse lists of:
Museums/Archives | Buildings | Monuments | Cemeteries | Locations | Other

Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

Site information is provided by the Manitoba Historical Society as a free public service only for non-commercial purposes.

Send corrections and additions to this page
to the MHS Webmaster at

Search Tips | Suggest an Historic Site | FAQ

Help us keep history alive!

MHS YouTube Channel

Back to top of page

For queries on the above page, please contact the MHS Webmaster.

Home  |  Terms & Conditions  |  FAQ  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |  Donations

© 1998-2022 Manitoba Historical Society. All rights reserved.