A historic barn that has been standing on the Whetter farm between Deloraine and Hartney is aging, and the owner isn’t sure about the structure’s future.
The barn was built in 1918 and the 48 feet by 90-foot building only serves as a place to store farm items that will fit into the building.
The Turtle Mountain Souris Plains Heritage Association last year did a documentary film on the massive red barn. Jon Whetter was pleased with the final product. “I was approached by David Neufeld and Julie to do a film for the Vantage Point series because our farm is in an interesting location with lots of history.”
“They toured the farm looking for a story to tell and looked at various options and everything always gravitated to the big red barn.”
The film titled The Chain Lakes Barn has been out since last fall and it was featured in Deloraine earlier this month at the general meeting of the Heritage Association.
“Our barn is unique because it’s so larger and it was even larger. It’s also still standing and there’s not a lot of them still standing. Some have been maintained and are in a little better shape. This barn has stood the test of time and is over 100 years old.”
Whetter says the barn has been repurposed and remodeled to some extent but not very much.
Jon Whetter’s dilemma is what to do with the large barn. “It’ll require a lot of expensive maintenance, but it doesn’t really have valuable storage space. The ceiling is eight feet high, and you can’t put equipment in there and the flood is deteriorating.”
“It comes down the struggle of preserving history which I think is important and fiscal responsibility and you have to find a happy medium between those two things,” said Jon Whetter.
Structurally the footing is compromised but Jon Whetter says the building is still fairly square but starting to show sings of weather stress and is starting to lean in places.