The history of rural architecture can be traced through a study of the remaining barns in any community. Whenever a Door County barn burns or collapses due to ageing and lack of maintenance we all lose a bit of that which makes this region unique…

The Muszynsky barn at the corner of Cty A and Cty EE was lost in a rapid blaze, fanned by strong west winds Friday afternoon, June 18, 2004.

The spirit of those settlers that tilled the earth and tended livestock for a living is reflected in every part of these handmade structures. But, it takes money to restore and preserve them.

Over 40 non-farming businesses in Door County are located in historic restored barns. Many started out small, using the existing barn as a means to begin showing or making art. Over the years they prospered and continued to invest some of the profits in preserving Door County’s agrarian heritage. We would like to commend the following businesses that have found a way to incorporate the salvation or reconstruction of a historic barn or outbuilding into their working plan:

Hearthside B&BThe story of a two-year barn restoration…
Lu and Don Klussendorf’s Joy of Country Dance Barn!

Oldenburg Barn

Restoring the Oldenburg Barn
March 14, 2002
by Annie Miller

A six-part detailed report on…
Preserving and Restoring Old Barns: An On-site Technical Workshop
June 9-10, 2000
by Steve KastnerIf you are the owner of an old Door County barn needing attention, a contractor interested in learning more barn restoration skills, or a barn enthusiasthere are some resources that may be of assistance:Local contact:
Mark Feuerstein
Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent
UW-Extension Door County

Join Barns N.O.W., the Wisconsin Barn Preservation Program.

Read publications by Wisconsin Cooperative Extension available online which include several on “Giving Old Barns New Life”.

Buy and watch Wisconsin Barns: Stories in Wood & Stone a one-hour Wisconsin Public Television special on the history of barn architecture in Wisconsin with stories about life on the farm in our state’s early years. The show also looks at what people today are doing to preserve and restore some of our valuable rural treasures.

Federal Tax Incentives
Those committed to restoring old barns usually have enough enthusiasm to see the project to its conclusion without tax incentives. But, there is an income tax credit available to help cover part of the cost. And there may be depreciation claimable after the restoration.


A Barn Wedding Saturday, June 19, 2004 in Baileys Harbor… Congratulations Neva and Dan!