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 for the barn in the spring of 2018, and the foundation was poured that summer. Work continued in 2019 and 2020 as weather permitted. Come check out the progress of our barn raising.

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 artist, Dick Lox, made a print of the barn that was reproduced. Ron Starr made frames with actual Bolton Barn wood, and they were matted and framed by Cooks Glass. These were sold to raise funds for the barn. For information on the barn, call Patti Starr at 309-337-0973.

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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