MHS Smarty Party: 20 October 2022

Manitoba Historical Society
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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Roper Barn (Municipality of Grassland)

The map location for this Historic Site of Manitoba is UNKNOWN.
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Around 1981, this barn south of Hartney in what is now the Municipality of Grassland was featured in a Manitoba Co-operator series on rural architecture. The original caption for the photograph is given below.

One does not necessarily require a hill to build a barn with the characteristics and conveniences of a bank barn. This 79-year-old specimen is located on the flat plains south of Hartney, yet achieves the benefits of a drive-through upper level by the use of earth ramps and wooden bridging. Constructed in 1903 by Benjamin Roper (1858-1930), the 40-foot by 60-foot barn was divided into three main work areas. The entire upper level was given to feed storage. The west half (left) was used to house horses, while the east side remained exclusively for cattle. Mr. Roper was a young stone mason when his parents left Yorkshire, England and arrived in the Hartney district about 1881. His profession appears to have been well used, however, with the enormous stone walls still in good repair in both the barn and nearby house. The only significant change to the barn these many years was a new covering for the distinctive hipped gable roof, and a doubling of the main floor joists in the early 1950s when tractors replaced horses in hauling feed into the upper levels. The farm remained in the Roper family until 1973 when it was sold to Tom and Marvel Pennylegion. However, Watson Roper, a grandson of the original builder, continues to farm the land. The town celebrates its centennial this year and it is perhaps fitting the oat sheaths required for the threshing demonstration July 1-4 are being stored in the old Roper loft.

Roper Barn

Roper Barn (circa 1981)
Source: Bob Hainstock

Site Coordinates (lat/long): NW
denoted by symbol on the map above


Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

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

Page revised: 16 October 2021

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