Nebraska barn features unique design

STELLA, Neb.- There's a barn just east of Stella listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

We caught up with the owner of the barn, Lonnie Wing. He believes the barn is a "one-of-a-kind". It was built by Alexander McMullen in 1904, and it has a unique construction system. "The roof is constructed of a gambrel roof system. Each of the hip roofs join in the corners to hold the corners in place," Lonnie said. "It compliments itself with the interior in the loft where there are no vertical support beams. It's all diagonal structures that make up the interior of the loft so there is more room for hay."

The house and the barn on the property are both on the National Register. "The house was built first," Lonnie said. "It has 3,600 square feet with four bedrooms upstairs, and there is quite a bit of cherry wood that they used."

The barn was used as a horse barn. It had five stalls, a tack room and a granary, and it had pens for hog farrowing. The homestead has been handed down through the generations in one family, the McMullen family.

When Lonnie bought the property, the barn was not in good shape. "On the north side the siding was all rotted, and on one corner, the barn had slid off the foundation. We had to put that all back into place,' Lonnie said. So there's been a lot of work done on the barn, but the owners say the work was worth it. "We felt that it was unique and needed to be restored, same with the house," Lonnie said. "We need to preserve the history of Nebraska and the United States, and if we can preserve as much as we can, we need to do it."