Famous Barns

Archives: January 2014

Red Mile Round 7.28.0






The Red Mile’s Round Barn has been a proud piece of Lexington’s racing history since 1875.

On the day I arrived to meet her, she was in white linen and netting, dressed for a wedding that evening.  She shares many of the characteristics of other Victorian barns her age … brick with interior wood framing, solid and boldly reaching up nearly 40’.

With Paddock Park between the Round Barn and the Grandstands, you feel like you’re in the country.  But, look north and you can easily see downtown Lexington, which is an amazing view from the barn at night.

Take a closer look at the barn in this video.

Disney Barn 1

Click here to take your tour of Walt’s barn.

Walt Disney’s barn design was inspired by his family’s barn in Missouri and he first built it behind his home on Carolwood Drive in Holmy Hills, California. It was the headquarters for imagineering and the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, Walt’s 1/8th scale rail line that is carefully maintained by the Los Angeles Steamers Museum.

According to our guide, if Walt had not been involved in an accident while playing polo at Will Rogers Polo Club, he may not have decided he needed a safer hobby. (Remember, two weeks ago we featured Will’s Polo Stable.) But railroads had been Walt’s passion for decades … his uncle was an engineer on the Santa Fe Railway and Walt spent summers working on the train. When he built Disneyland in Anaheim, he built a railroad modeled after the Santa Fe and the engines were named after the railway’s founder and presidents.

What would be in your workshop?

Mormon Row Barn 3


Click here to tour The Mormon Row Barns.

These barns in the Grand Teton National Park celebrated their 100th birthday last year.  Do you recognize them?  They are some of the most photographed in the world.

Mormons began arriving in this part of Wyoming in the late 1890s.  They were farmers and homesteaders who created cluster communities.  Several buildings of the original families who settled here remain in this part of the National Park.  The most famous are the two log barns – one with a gable roof and the other with a gambrel roof.  The third and tallest — a two-story board and batten barn — is just as remarkable with the Tetons at its backdoor.

When we toured the barns in May of 2012 local architects, park officials and the National Trust for Historic Preservation were in discussion about how to preserve them for another century.

By the way, if you get to the barns at dawn like I did, they come alive in the red light of sunrise


Will Rogers Polo Stable

at the Will Rogers State Park

Pacific Palisades, California



Click here or on the photo above to begin your one minute video tour.

Born in 1879 in Oklahoma’s Cherokee Nation on his family’s Dog Iron Ranch, Will was a star on Broadway and Hollywood, starring in over 71 movies.  He was an author and syndicated columnist, a radio broadcaster and a friend to Presidents, senators, stars and slaves.  After years as a trick roper and masterful rider, his polo matches at his ranch near Los Angeles were legendary …. Clark Gable and Walt Disney were just two of the games’ regular riders.

Until recently stars and directors boarded their ponies here, but the decision was made to preserve, rather than use the facility.  Will called it “the barn that jokes built.”  In the video you’ll see a black and white picture of the barn; Will had written in the names of his horses.  This is now part of California’s Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, near Los Angeles.  It is also one of the country’s oldest Polo Clubs.  When Betty Rogers, Will’s wife, donated the ranch to the state it was on the condition that the equestrian activities continue.

Click here for more photos and stories at the Will Rogers Polo Club site.

Happy New Year to you and your family!  May it be the best one ever.