Around 1981, this barn in the Rural Municipality of Hanover was featured in a Manitoba Co-operator series on rural buildings. The original caption for the photograph is given below.
There is a distinct nautical flavor in the design of his unique fox tower located on flat prairie near Steinbach. Built in 1936 by Jacob S. Rempel and B. P. Janz, then operating Steinbach Flour Mills, the tower cost about $900, while the pens and equipment added another $2,200 to the cost of starting in the fur business. About 105 pelts were sold the first year, bringing a total revenue of $1,812.50. In addition to using the tower to closely coordinate the short mating season, it was also used to record times when pups were to be born. Interruptions to the pen area were kept to a minimum, particularly after pups were born as female foxes were known to eat their own young if overly agitated. This particular fox farm kept about 100 females, plus males, with about 150 mink added at a later date.
When the land on which the barn sat was sold, it was threatened with demolition as the new owners planned to construct a home on the site. Instead, it was sold and moved to its present location overlooking a small creek on a private residential property. The tower was removed from the barn although its owner plans to restore it.
Rempel Janz Fox Barn (circa 1981)
Source: Bob Hainstock
The former Rempel Janz Fox Barn (February 2010)
The former Rempel Janz Fox Barn (June 2010)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Co-operator Rural Buildings Series
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Emerson Fox Barn (Emerson, Municipality of Emerson-Franklin)
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Langtry Fox Farm Tower (RM of Rockwood)
We thank the present owner of the building for providing information used here.
This page was prepared by Bob Hainstock, Ed Ledohowski, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 4 February 2017
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