History of the World's Largest Round Barn
The idea for the Round Barn was conceived by the Central Wisconsin Holstein Breeders Association in the early 1900s. It was built as a show barn and arena, and it is still used for that purpose today. The Central Wisconsin State Fair Association, Wood County Board, and private donations paid for the construction.
W. W. Clark designed the barn and the bid was awarded to the Felhofer brothers. Their bid of $6,000 was approximately $2,000 less than the nearest competitor, because they used a staging method of construction. Instead of using scaffolding, they started at the bottom of the building and worked their way up.
Construction started Thanksgiving Day, 1915 and was completed in the spring of 1916. Excavation work was done by using a horse drawn slusher. The cement mixing consisted of mixing cement, sand and water on a plank with a shovel until the desired consistency was attained. The framework was done during the winter months and the floors and stanchions were done in the spring. In 1917, a second floor was completed.
The diameter of the barn is approximately 150 feet and is 70 feet high at the top of the cupola. The wood used is a combination of white oak, red oak, hemlock and pine. Wooden bleachers originally encircled the show ring, with seating for about 1,000 people. 88,000 shingles were used for roofing.
For more information about the World’s Largest Round Barn, download a copy of our brochure here.
Tours of the Round Barn are available for a donation of $1.00 per person. Please call the office at 715-387-1261 to make arrangements.