Around 1981, this barn at NE24-10-28W in what is now the Rural Municipality of Wallace-Woodworth was featured in a Manitoba Co-operator series on rural buildings. The original caption for the photograph is given below.
The sun had not yet penetrated the fog and heavy dew that surrounded Ed Wardle’s big three-storey barn on this quiet fall morning, perhaps reflecting the restful status of a barn that no longer is required to meet the heavy demands of its seven previous decades. There are three main entrances to this barn of stone, metal and wood, and each entrance is at a different ground level—a standard benefit of bank barns in Western Canada. Built into the side of a sharp ravine, the Wardle barn is located about 10 miles west of Virden and one mile north. Wilmot Wardle came to the area 100 years ago and after three consecutive crop failures at Gainsborough, moved over to the Virden area. In 1914 he contracted with two stonemasons to build the lower level for cattle, after which he completed the second level for horses and grain and the third level for straw and hay. The 35x70-foot building was located directly over a good water supply. The post-and-beam construction was altered slightly in the 1950s to allow a self-supporting roof. These changes also resulted in removal of the hay sling, as well as a rotary horsepower with six arms that allowed six teams of horses to move the large grinding stones in early days. The stonework has deteriorated in recent years and the structure is considered unsafe for future use.
The barn was demolished in 1985 and its timber was sold.
Historic Sites of Manitoba: Manitoba Co-operator Rural Buildings Series
We thank Joyce Williamson for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Bob Hainstock, Ed Ledohowski, and Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 1 May 2021
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