Indiana celebrates its 200th anniversary as the 19th state in 2016. Last year, a contest was launched to honor Indiana’s rural heritage and its future, by recognizing barns. Any Indiana barn that was built prior to 1950 was eligible. The 200 entries that best celebrated Indiana’s classic barns and their impact on our economy and history, and were entered by the deadline were considered. From those entries, 10 were selected as examples possessing architectural and historical features, aesthetics, character and condition, geographic distribution and construction demonstrating Indiana’s best. The Top Ten Indiana Bicentennial Barns of Indiana are:

Cindy Barber, Daviess County
Dr. Bogdan Nedelkoff, Floyd County
David Wendel, Franklin County
Keith Allhands, Henry County
Tim & Beth Sheets, Howard County
Greg & Deb Smoker, LaPorte County
Mark Feightner, Noble County
Casey Knigga, Ohio County
Roy Burcham, Porter County
Rebecca Rouch, St. Joseph County

A panel of artists, preservationists and agriculturalists made the selections. The owners of the 10 barns will receive a handcrafted framed plaque made by Scottsburg artist Dorrel Harrison. Harrison, who is an Indiana Artisan, creates three dimensional images of barns from reclaimed wood. The 200 barns will receive a commemorative Bicentennial Barn sign.

Marsh Davis, CEO of Indiana Landmarks, assisted in the selection. “All of the barns we looked at are winners, and we in Indiana are grateful for the stewardship the barn owners demonstrate in keeping our heritage alive,” he commented. Honorable Mentions will be announced within the next month in multiple categories. “We were blown away by the level of pride that jumped off the entry forms and photos,” said Betsy Jones, Project Coordinator. “The stories that owners shared about their barns exuded family history, pride and a genuine love of those barns.” “It was extremely difficult to narrow the field to just 10. Some of the structures should be recognized in other ways.”

The Bicentennial Barns of Indiana program was conceived to bring attention to barns as icons of the past and future, and to celebrate agriculture through art and education. While the contest portion of this program ended in 2015, barns can still be entered into what will become a permanent Barn Registry. They will be recorded for history and be part of a pending traveling exhibit. The registry will be ongoing, collecting history and visually recording these structures for the future. An exhibit that will feature the barn entries is under development and will travel the state over a period of years. Other long term outcomes from the project that will last beyond 2016 might include a tourism Barn Trail, the Registry, and more. A statewide committee of volunteers spearheads the Bicentennial Barns project. It is funded via sponsorships and donations, which are tax deductible. Indiana Farm Credit Mid America Offices and Employees, Indiana Farm Bureau, and Beacon Credit Union/Beacon Ag Group have made lead gifts, making the project possible. Indiana Landmarks is providing significant in-kind support.

To enter a barn in to the Registry or to view all the entries, visit This project is endorsed by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission as a Bicentennial Legacy Project. Indiana’s 2016 Bicentennial celebration aims to honor our state’s 200 years of history, and to do so in a modern way that engages all 6.5 million Hoosiers and leaves a lasting legacy for future generations. Go to for additional information.

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