The Scott Barn

Prominently on display as you enter the Chaplin Creek Historical Site from Whitney Road is one of the site’s newest exhibits, The Scott Barn. The 36 ft. X 26 ft. barn was originally located in rural Kane County, Illinois and was given to the Franklin Grove Area Historic Society by Jim Scott. Jim and Marian Scott’s family had lived on the farm where the barn was located since the mid-1860s. The barn is estimated to have been built in 1855 and is an English-style, 3- bay configuration. It was used for milking cows and housing horses and had hay and grain storage provisions. The original wooden hay track was still tightly attached to the roof structure.

On September 25/26, 1999, forty (40) hearty volunteers completely disassembled the barn, loaded it on a trailer and transported it about fifty (50) miles to Franklin Grove. For the next nine (9) months, the post and beam structural parts, plus their bracing, were modified to correct areas that had deteriorated over the intervening 145 years. A historically correct stone foundation --- featuring large rocks from local historic Franklin Grove structures—was carefully laid. Sill plates along with 2 inch thick tongue-and-groove planking obtained from still other local historic structures were used to construct the barn deck platform.

Scott Barn Raising 2000At the Y2000 Franklin Grove Harvest Fest, an old-fashioned Barn Raising was held. Men dressed in period clothing participated using "beetles" to help re-assemble the bents and pike poles to elevate the bents into position. Creative meals for the hearty crew were provided by a group of "pioneer" woman who were colorfully attired in period clothing consistent with the ambience of the event. A hand stitched quilt consisting of a large center panel honoring the Scott Barn and then surrounded by smaller patches of twenty (20) other barn styles found in northern Illinois was beautifully displayed in a tent nearby.

Although rain showers dampened the festival grounds, it did not dampen the enthusiasm or esprit d’ corps exhibited by the men and women associated with this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Over 2000 volunteer hours have been logged relative to this unique project.