Welcoming those traveling north on U.S. 35 in northern Indiana, the Door Prairie barn is the unofficial boundary marker and greeter of the City of LaPorte. Built in 1882 to house horses and cattle, this unique nine-sided barn is perhaps the most unusual in the State of Indiana. Round barns are relatively common across the United States; Indiana has around 100, Fulton County, has seven surviving round barns - and an annual festival to celebrate them. "Round barns" are not all round, some are hexoganal, octagonal, or dodecagons. What makes the Door Prairie barn unusal is the odd number of sides. Why nine? We can't ask the builder John Jeffrey, he's no longer with us. But if we look to the original owner of the barn, Marion Ridgeway, we can draw a possible connection between the barn and his religious beliefs - he was a Quaker. The number nine in Christian belief, often represents perfection, and divine completion, and Christ often represents the number. Nine also represents the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are Faithfulness, Gentleness, Goodness, Joy, Kindness, Long suffering, Love, Peace and Self-control (Galatians 5:22 - 23) --(biblestudy.org). Or, it may have less symbolic significance and purely structual importance. Perhaps aesthetics? Whatever the case may be, this landmark of LaPorte County welcomes me, and makes me feel at home every time I pass by.
Posted by Tom Gill at Friday, October 10, 2014