(L to R) Earleen (Elkins) Friez, Howard Nelson, Gary Friez and Loren Luckow move the Elkins’ large, handcrafted model barn and windmill into building two of Dakota Buttes Museum in preparation for the BARNS GALORE events and activities at the museum Aug. 4 through Sept. 3. (Courtesy Photo)

In support of the Adams County Fair, the Dakota Buttes Historical Society/Museum (DBHS/M) presents BARNS GALORE, a series of events and activities centered around that icon of prairie farm construction, the barn.

From red to white to green and brown, from large to small, and from restored to fragile, the barns remaining in Adams County tell a story all their own, a story of belief in the invincibility of what the land had to offer and a story of hope for what the future might hold.

That story is recorded in nearly 70 photographs that will be on display at the museum from August 4 through September 3 as part of BARNS GALORE. “It’s an ongoing project whose purpose is to create historical records,” says Bonnie Smith, DBHS/M board member. “We welcome any information on or photographs of additional county or south country barns.”

BARNS GALORE opens Friday, August 4 at 1:00 pm in building two of the museum with a special program by North Dakota State Historic preservationist Susan L. Quinnel, author of the book, “Prairie Barns of North Dakota.”   

Following her presentation, representatives of the Earl and Clara Elkins family, Gary and Earleen (Elkins) Friez, and Gerald and Arthur         Elkins will be on hand to present their dad’s  and mom’s handcrafted windmill and barn (with its 5,000 handcrafted wooden shingles to the museum this year.  “Our family is proud that Dakota Buttes Museum has agreed to accept this donation as a permanent part of their collection, ” says Earleen. “We look forward to bringing in the remaining elements of the model farmstead at a later date.”

Bart Damjanovich will then entertain with his famous fiddle music, followed by homemade cookies, coffee and lemonade. “It will be lively, top-tapping time,” says Ceil Anne Clement, DBHS/M president.

The second major event of the BARNS GALORE project takes place Sunday, September 3 with the bus tour of selected barns of Adams County, the fourth in the series of museum-sponsored free bus tours in the last four years. The bus loads at 12:45 that day at the main (west) door of the museum and returns to the museum for a light supper in building two at the end of the tour. The museum will be open for regular visitors that Sunday afternoon also.

Additional museum hours during the Fair are Saturday, August 5 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and Sunday, August 6 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

The Dakota Buttes Historical Society /Museum, located at 400 11 St. So, Hettinger, ND, is the official historical society of Adams County and is open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 1:00 – 4:00 pm or by appointment.

All events are free and family friendly. “Donations are appreciated, though,” says Betty Svihovec, long time DBHS/M secretary and member of the founding board of directors, “because they make it possible for us to develop programs such as this.”