Barn Project! Preserving Agriculture History!

Western Illinois Threshers has an objective to preserve and encourage understanding of historical agriculture practices, and with that in mind they agreed to be the final destination for a local (Sonora Twnp) mortised/tenon barn. This circa 1884 barn was built by a local pioneer, Alexander Bolton who purchased his first land in Hancock Co in 1864. This barn is a basement barn, open from barn floor to rafters with no hay mow because it was used for loose hay. In September of 2016, the barn was taken down, timber by timber, and was stored as funds were raised. Ground was broken in the spring and the foundation is being poured this summer. See the beginning of the barn restoration at this year's show. Thanks to all who donated labor and equipment to get this phase accomplished.

Monetary donations will enable the reconstruction of the barn including foundation, roof, siding, and electricity etc.

The Hancock County Historical Society has donated an original painting of the barn by Jan Holtman to be used to generate donations.

Another local artist, Dick Lox has made his painting of the barn available to WIT as signed/numbered prints. These prints are offered with frames made from the original barn siding,matted and glassed for $225. there is a limited quantity so contact phone 309-337-0973 at your earliest convenience.

Take this opportunity to save a piece of history.

Donations can be made to: Western Illinois Threshers (Bolton Barn in memo)

Mail to:

WIT c/o Patti Starr
1996 N County Road 1000
Nauvoo, IL 62354

Donation categories for a future plaque to be constructed in the barn include:

  • Barn Historians : $100-$500
  • Friends of the Barn: >$500- $2500
  • Barn Builders : >$2500-$4000
  • Barn Raisers: >$4000



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