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National and State Registers of Historic Places

Cossaart Barn

Picture of property 3040 Birch Road
Narka (Republic County)
Listed in National Register Dec 30, 2009

Architect: Cossaart, Reuben C. (builder)
Category: agricultural outbuilding; animal facility; extractive facility
Thematic Nomination: Historic Agriculture Related Resources of Kansas

Built in about 1916, the Cossaart Barn is located 1.2 miles west of Mahaska on a uniquely designated parcel of land - Section 1, Range 1, Township 1 - in Albion Township of Republic County. Albion Township is in the extreme northeast corner of the county and includes only a few hundred residents. The Cossart farm is situated on the north side of a gravel road in a shallow valley. The rural surroundings feature rolling hills of grassland used for ranching and farming. The farmstead includes buildings and structures of various periods, but the barn and adjacent windmill are the oldest and best-intact features. The barn features the distinguishing characteristic of a Midwest Prairie Barn: a large sweeping gable roof that gives it a strong horizontal emphasis. It also includes a hay hood with an outward swinging door on the north elevation. Its interior is made up of a large, open central section that is flanked by stall bays. The interior is somewhat unusual in that the central section used for hay storage extends from ground level to the roof with no haymow. The 1937 Fairbury windmill originally pumped water to the house and to a tank adjacent to the barn for many years. By the mid-twentieth century the windmill was outfitted with an electric motor and pumpjack. It was restored to original working condition in 1993. This property has been in the Cossaart family for five generations, and continues to function as a working farmstead. The barn was nominated as part of the "Historic Agriculture-Related Resources of Kansas" multiple property listing for its association with local agricultural history and its architecture.

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