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Indiana University Bloomington
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Indiana University Libraries

Wylie House Barn

History

Little did we dream when we began planning in 2003 for a new education center that we might end up with another historic structure on site, but that is precisely what has happened and we are more than thrilled! A barn built here in Monroe County between 1863 and 1869 was dismantled and reassembled here on site. The interior has been refitted to serve as offices and education/meeting space. Neidigh Construction and Kirkwood Design Studio, two Bloomington firms, teamed up to make this happen for us. Larry Neidigh, owner of Neidigh Construction, owned the barn when this project started and made it available as part of his bid and design proposal. The beautiful old hand-hewn posts and beams are exposed on the interior of the reassembled barn and the poplar siding that was originally on the outside, is now on the interior of the building so that visitors will be able to see the old wood.

The original Wylie homestead comprised 20 acres of land, purchased in 1829 - 1830. (An additional 205 acres were purchased before 1850.) It was a working farm on the edge of what was then the village of Bloomington. We know that Andrew and Margaret had a barn, chicken coop, outhouse, smokehouse, ice house and probably other buildings to support their activities. Even in the second half of the century when Theophilus and Rebecca Wylie lived here with their family on just 5 acres there were several outbuildings, including a barn. So having a barn on-site again is entirely appropriate and should help remind visitors of the origins of the property.

The builder of this barn was Lewis Wickliffe Walden who was born in Monroe County in 1830 and died here in 1885. He and several of his brothers were carpenters. Mr. Walden built the barn in the western part of the county, on a farm that was owned by his father, Lewis Logan Walden. The property went through several ownership transfers over the years, and in 1955, Morris and Maudeline Duckworth bought the land with the barn on it. Mrs. Duckworth, the great-great niece of Lewis W. Walden, and her family took great pride in the barn that was still standing in excellent condition 100 years after being built. Mr. Duckworth died in 1984 and his widow sold the property in 1988. In 1993, she put together a history of the farm and barn that has been passed on to us by Mr. Neidigh.

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Photo Gallery: Barn Dismantling

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Photo Gallery: Barn Reassembly

Hover over a thumbnail to view a larger image. Left- or right-click to open or save.




Last Update 11.16.2010 (JR) | Send Comments to libwylie@indiana.edu | Libraries Privacy Policy