Olathe in Johnson County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
This barn is thought to be the oldest structure standing on the Mahaffie farm. While the siding was replaced at least twice, the frame underneath probably dates to about 1860, when the Mahaffies established the farm and their first home. In 2009, the barn underwent complete restoration thanks to a grant from the Johnson County Heritage Trust Fund.
Look carefully at the construction of the barn's frame and you will notice the use of wooden pegs or trunnels to connect the timbers. Known as timber framing, this method of construction dates back to medieval times.
By the 1800s, this technique was not used due to any lack of nails. Cut nails, produced by steam or water-powered machinery, were quite common and easily available. Nails are used throughout a building like this, to attach siding, floor boards, and shingles. Timber framing is simply the best method for joining the large wooden beams together.
Most early barns were open down the middle, so that a wagon could pull through with a load of loose hay, sheaves of wheat, or ears of corn. The cargo could be pitched to either side for storage - or easily loaded up again as needed.
Erected by City of Olathe.
Location. 38° 53.53′ N, 94° 48.096′ Touch for map. Marker is about 125 feet northwest of the Mahaffie home at the Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1200 Kansas City Road, Olathe KS 66061, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pit Stop (a few steps from this marker); Not So Little A Farm On the Prairie... (a few steps from this marker); Workin' For a Living (a few steps from this marker); Stagecoach Drivers (within shouting distance of this marker); Up In Smoke (within shouting distance of this marker); State Your Business... (within shouting distance of this marker); Fast Food (within shouting distance of this marker); There's No Roost Like Home (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Olathe.
Categories. • Agriculture • Man-Made Features • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 17, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 537 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 17, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 3. submitted on August 15, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.