Updated: Nov 5, 2021
In 1877 Charles Tryon, Sr. purchased an 80 acre farm on Tryon Road, adding 40 more acres a few years later. Charles farmed Tryon during the “Golden Age” of agriculture, when horse-drawn equipment was replaced with power-driven machinery and larger amounts of land could be more easily and efficiently cultivated. Larger barn designs incorporated a wide variety of operations, allowing for more efficient use of labor, storage, and general operations. Upon his death in 1891, his two sons (Charles and Henry) inherited the farm and in 1892 built the iconic Tryon Farm dairy barn. In 1896 Charles added the large brick farmhouse. The chicken coop and drive through granary were added around 1900. Shortly later, Henry Tryon moved to Pennsylvania.
During the late 1800s the University of Wisconsin responded to its state’s growing dairy industry by developing a sanitary and efficient dairy barn design, the “Wisconsin Dairy Barn”. The bank barn design used for the Tryon dairy operation generally follows the Wisconsin concepts.
The Tryons seemed intent on using the latest technology developed for agricultural buildings when they built the barn and chicken coop, as well as the drive-through granary, though its type has long been a fixture of American farms. The barn, which retains its calving stalls, stanchions, and concrete troughs, is substantial; few other barns its age and size remain in northern LaPorte County.
The Barn is in pretty good shape, given the 1892 construction, however, there is a large amount of work necessary to ensure it lasts another 100 years. Foundation preservation, masonry and roof repairs, as well as wear and tear of the barn siding need to be addressed.
Donate online today to the Tryon Farm Institute to contribute to the Barn Restoration Project.