Ryan Round Barn, Kewanee Illinois

Date added: April 27, 2023 Categories: Illinois Barn Round Barn
Looking south showing north side (1974)

The Ryan Barn is largest and best example of the round barn type known to exist in Illinois.

The Ryan round barn is located on the side of a long rolling gully in the southwest portion of the Johnson-Sauk Trail State Park. The park consists of 1200 acres, including a 58-acre lake and 3-acre pond, the whole situated on the edge of a former great midwestern swamp. The Park is located about 6 miles north of the city of Kewanee. Park property runs up to State Rt. 78 on the west and is about 6 miles SE of Interstate 80. The barn is approximately 200 yards east of Rte 78.

The barn is a large round frame structure, about 61' high to the top of the cupola, 74" in diameter with a circumference of 233', having a centrally located silo 11' in diameter with a circumference of 53'. The structure is set on a reinforced concrete wall 8' high. There is a partial concrete floor on the ground level. There are three and one-half levels consisting of the ground floor, entered from the west through large double doors; the second floor, of frame construction, is entered from the east via a concrete ramp; and the third level, also frame, access to which is by numerous ladders along the walls of both the barn and silo. A section of the third level, about 20%, is raised about 4' creating a half or fourth level.

Construction above the first floor concrete wall is of vertical 2x6" fir studding placed at about 20" intervals, covered on the exterior with 1x6" siding, apparently soaked and bent and laid horizontally. The roof level begins 9 above the third-floor level and is constructed of horizontal 1x2" fir stripping spaced about 6" apart on center forming hoop-like wooden concentrics laid over 2x6" fir vertical studding which cants inward at three distinct levels coming to rest on the silo acting as a main support. The silo is constructed much the same as the barn except reversed; the studding is on the exterior with the bent horizontal siding on the inside. The entire silo interior is covered with smooth plaster. There are four gambrel roof dormers spaced evenly around the roof and double-hung windows at all three levels. Flooring is 9" pine planking laid over a spoke-like arrangement 'of 2x12" floor joists.

The roof is presently composed of asphalt shingling laid over the original cedar shakes.

Ryan Round Barn, Kewanee Illinois Looking northwest showing southeast sides (1974)
Looking northwest showing southeast sides (1974)

Ryan Round Barn, Kewanee Illinois Interior showing Silo(1974)
Interior showing Silo(1974)

Ryan Round Barn, Kewanee Illinois Looking south showing north side (1974)
Looking south showing north side (1974)