‘Round Barns of America’ – Times Gazette

Editor’s note – Robert Kroeger, the Cincinnati man who painted and wrote stories about some of Highland County’s historic barns in 2015, has published a new book, “America’s Round Barns, 75 Icons of History.”

Yes, these barns were round or polygonal in shape without right angles: circular, octagonal, even hexadecagonal. Many – but not all – of the farmers who built them were rich, rich enough to take a chance on an eccentric form. Their histories are also unique.

The oldest existing round barn, the nine-sided one, located in the town of Angelica in western New York, tells the story of John Church and his wife Angelica, sister of Elizabeth Schuyler, wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

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Did Thomas Jefferson’s octagonal love interest Angelica, who spent years in Paris with Jefferson? Did President George Washington’s 16-sided barn play a role in Angelica’s design? The author documents these curious barns – from the east coast to the west coast – and enjoys colorful stories, some of them from rich stories like Absalom Jennings and his Nutwood, a round brick barn that came to Ohio in 1858. construction, and Schandor. Herz, born in Slovakia in the 19th century and raised in Chicago, spent his years on a Kentucky horse farm in Bourbon County and its low tetradecagonal barn.

Together, these 75 round barns represent a cross section of America’s pioneers, from the years before the American Revolution to the glory decades of round barns – the 1870s through the 1920s. It’s quintessential Americana.

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Kroeger, a resident of Youngstown, practiced general dentistry from 1977 until 2010, when he retired. He and his wife Laura live in Cincinnati, where they spend time with their nine grandchildren.

He is a second-generation artist, although unlike his father Francis, who earned an art degree from Notre Dame, his professional art career flourished later in life. Although he did not immediately follow in his father’s footsteps, Robert’s career as a dentist allowed him to study color values ​​and principles of facial aesthetics in smile design.

Kroeger is the author of “Historic Barns of Ohio,” a book that includes a barn, a photo and an article in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. He has also written two books on dentistry and seven books on golf in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland, including “To The 14th Tee”, “The Links of Wales”, “The Golf Courses of Old Tom Morris”. , “Golf on the Links of Ireland”, “Golf on the Links of England”, “The Complete Guide to Golf Courses in Scotland” and “Mysteries of Islay”.

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This is his second book on old barns, but hopefully not the last. He can be contacted through the website, www.barnart.weebly.com.

This is the cover of Robert Kroeger’s new book “America’s Round Barns, 75 Icons of History.”

Kroeger was in Highland County in 2015


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