So, I have been featuring the homes of Gordon Van Tine Company out of Davenport, Iowa. In fact, the last thirteen blogs feature homes of Gordon Van Tine. Gordon Van Tine not only sold kit homes but they also sold farm buildings such as barns and corn cribs. The earliest Gordon Van Book of Plans published in 1907 even offered barn plans. Sears, as well as Aladdin, offered kit farm buildings. No one knows just how many farm buildings were sold, though, from any of the kit home catalog companies. Sears first offered farm buildings in their 1911/1912 catalog starting with just four barns. The Gordon Van Tine Company offered a larger selection of farm buildings including corn cribs, hog houses, implement sheds and barns. In fact, the 1909-1910 Gordon Van Tine catalog has ten pages of farm buildings including two round barns! I don’t have that catalog uploaded but I do have the Gordon Van Tine 1913 catalog uploaded on archive.org as well as flickr.
Thanks to Darcy Maulsby of Lake City, Iowa I have not only a beautiful Gordon Van Tine barn 403 to share but a story as well!
Check out the photos and let me know if you know where another Gordon Van Tine barn 403 might be.
With the information that Darcy shared with me and what I researched on ancestry I was able to piece together this story.
Our story begins with Peter and Wilhemina Binkert who immigrated to America, (Wisconsin) from Switzerland in 1852. By 1990 the Binkerts had relocated to Jackson, Iowa. In this undated photo, courtesy of Darcy Maulsby, we see Peter and Wilhimina and 3 of their 7 children. Peter was a Civil War veteran while living in Wisconsin.
Peter enlisted in Company D, Wisconsin 23rd Infantry Regiment on Aug. 12, 1862. He mustered out on Dec. 19, 1863.
Wilhimina Binkert passed away in 1919 at the age of 76. Her husband, Peter, passed away in 1926 at the age of 88. Darcy, who is an author, tells me that a few of the Binkert’s daughters ran a boarding house in Lake City. The youngest of the seven Binkert children, Edwin, continued to farm.
In 1928 Edwin Binkert ordered a barn from the Gordon Van Tine Company in Davenport Iowa, just a short 250 miles east. Construction of the barn was completed by local carpenters on Aug. 16, 1928. Photo courtesy of Darcy Maulsby.
When the barn arrived the neighbors got together and hauled the materials to the location of the farm. Upon completion in August of 1928 it must have looked something like this photo that Darcy Maulsby sent to me. I checked the 1930 census to see who the neighbors might be and discovered more Binkerts living nearby!
After the completion of the barn, a barn dance was held to celebrate.
Edwin Binkert chose barn 403. Here’s barn 403 from my 1926 Farm Buildings catalog. Looks like a spot on match!
Click on the image to see in full resolution
This illustration from my 1926 farm Buildings catalog shows what was included with a Gordon Van Tine barn kit.
Click on the image to see in full resolution
I’ve highlighted a few things to look for when identifying a Gordon Van Tine barn. Compare with the following pages from my Farm Buildings catalog.
Looks like hay door number 2 is a match to Edwin’s barn 403. Shipped built and ready to hang.
All doors are built and ready to hang with the finest door hardware.
Another detail to look for is the barn board pattern. Barn 403 specifies for 1×6 drop siding and if you noticed, the Binkert barn is built of horizontal 1×6 drop siding.
Gordon Van Tine barn 403 was a “standard” barn. Materials included with a “standard” barn are described on this page.
And for those of you who are like me and want to see the construction in a little more detail…
Click on the image to see in full resolution.
And the reason I was so drawn to this barn! What a pretty picture. It’s hard to beat a pretty red barn in fresh fallen snow with a bright blue sky! True Americana right here. And to think, this barn was built by immigrants. Nothing says America better! Thanks to Darcy Maulsby for allowing me the use of this beautiful photo that she stopped to take in February 2012. Simply gorgeous!
On a sad note, Darcy tells me this barn was seriously damaged by a windstorm a couple of years ago and was razed. But, hopefully sharing this wonderful barn and story we will find more! I wouldn’t be surprsied to find more Gordon Van Tine barns on Iowa farms especially.
How much did a kit barn sell for you ask? Well, that depends on the size, they came in a variety of sizes and heights. In the lower left corner of this 1926 price sheet you can get an idea of what a barn 403 would cost in 1926. The price didn’t include concrete or any masonry, bricks, stones, etc and of course…labor. Darcy tells me that Ed Binkert hired local carpenters, Harry Betenbender and Harry Yetter, and that information came from an inscription on the interior wall of the barn.
Our final image, also courtesy of Darcy Maulsby. The Binkert farm. In the far right you can see Gordon Van Tine barn #403.
My research on ancestry and using census reports tell me that Edwin and his sisters Minnie, Nettie, Ida and Lillie all lived here. None ever married. Also confirmed by Darcy.
You can enlarge the photo by clicking on the image.
A very special thanks to Darcy Maulsby for sharing the many photos and information. Please visit Darcy’s website by clicking here. The Binkert barn is featured in Darcy’s book Calhoun County which can be purchased here.
To see a set of Gordon Van Tine blueprints click here!
If you know of a Gordon Van Tine barn or a Gordon Van Tine home contact me through facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about kit homes and meet other enthusiasts as well as home owners join us in the Sears Homes Group on facebook!
For more information on the Gordon Van Tine Company of Davenport, Iowa visit the website of Dale Wolicki , here.
My friend Rosemary Thornton has featured several Gordon Van Tine homes on her blog.
To see more Gordon Van Tine catalogs online click here.
And, to see the beautiful covers from Gordon Van Tine catalogs click here.
Come back for my next blog to see the Gordon Van Tine 198, a two family dwelling.
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