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Graham Barn

Whitewater, Manitoba, R0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/06/13

View, from the west, of the Graham Barn, Minto area, 2004; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
West Elevations
View, from the northwest, of the Graham Barn, Minto area, 2004; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005
Northwest Elevations
View of the interior timber framework of the Graham Barn, Minto area, 2004; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 2005

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1898/01/01 to 1898/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/10

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The red wooden facades and stone foundation of the Graham Barn rise dramatically out of gently rolling fields in the Minto area of southwestern Manitoba. Built in 1898, the expansive Southern Ontario-style barn dominates the farmyard assembled behind a century-old house. The municipal designation applies to the barn and the site on which it sits.

Heritage Value

The Graham Barn is a good example of Southern Ontario-style barn traditions, an increasingly rare sight in rural Manitoba. The building, which is of heavy timber construction set on a stone foundation, symbolizes the adaptation of established agricultural technologies that occurred when large numbers of Ontarians began homesteading in Manitoba in the late nineteenth century. The barn also provides an important physical connection to pioneers of the Minto area - in this case, James and Jane Graham, who arrived from Ontario in 1881 to establish the farmstead, and whose descendants continue to occupy the farm.

Source: Rural Municipality of Whitewater By-law No. 2001-4, June 13, 2001

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the site's heritage character include:
- the placement of the barn amongst a collection of farm structures, with access to fields and pens, and with an east-west orientation characteristic of Southern Ontario-style barns

Key elements of the barn's Southern Ontario architectural traditions include:
- the sprawling structure composed of three volumes, interconnected and united in colour and materials
- the dominant 2 1/2-storey main section, rectangular in shape, with a foundation and stable walls of local fieldstone, red wooden siding walls, gable roof with cedar shingles, etc.
- the two, 1 1/2 -storey appendages, one with a shed roof along the entire north side of the main section, and one with a gable roof at the southwest corner
- the two-storey earthen ramp that rises between the two appendages to the loft on the west side
- the variety of openings, including the small square fixed windows set in white wooden frames and deeply recessed in the stone walls; the wooden plank stable doors, many double or split, etc.

Key elements that define the barn's function and layout include:
- the exposed superstructure, including the stable's 60-centimetre-thick whitewashed fieldstone walls and floors, the elaborate post-and-beam network composed of hand-hewn timber, utilitarian wooden plank flooring of the upper levels, mortise-and-tenon joints secured in a straightforward fashion with wooden pegs, etc.
- the largely unobstructed loft space broken up by the wooden chop bins and storage areas, with 'roofs' doubling as loading platforms, located in the west end adjacent to the ramp
- the formal stable plan zoning animals into wooden stalls, with separate access to each zone
- the various features and equipment for animal care and storage, including chutes between levels to move feed, feed alleys between pens, a well to supply water, root cellar, etc.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Food Supply
Barn, Stable or Other Animal Housing


Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

RM of Whitewater Office, 201 South Railway PO Box 53, Minot, MB R0K 1M0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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