Bear River Heritage Area Historic Barn Survey

This collection hosts the products from the Bear River Heritage Area Historic Barn Survey that works to tell the story of the historic barns in northern Utah and southeastern Idaho through interviews, photographs, and fieldnotes. Criteria for documented barns included an age of fifty years old and older, those in good condition, and barns with easy access for public viewing. The project goals included documenting the barn builders; describing the historic uses of the barns; and educating the public about the barns’ architectural features, cultural uses, and symbols. To this end, two separate, self-guided tours explore the types of barns and history, as well as the methods of construction for the documented local barns. Additionally, educational exhibits and talks also resulted from the work, as well as actual restoration work on several of the Utah barns and educational workshops for the public to learn restoration techniques.
The barn survey is an outgrowth of other fieldwork in the Bear River Heritage Area that began in 2000 under the direction of Randy Williams and Cindy Hall. (See Folklore Collection 29.) During 2002-2004, the first wave of barn research was conducted in the three counties of northern Utah-Cache, Rich, and Box Elder. Fieldworkers included Alene Alder, Lisa Duskin-Goede, and Elaine Thatcher. During 2005-2016, the second wave of research was conducted in the four counties of southeastern Idaho-Oneida, Caribou, Bear Lake, and Franklin. Fieldworkers included Lisa Duskin-Goede, Rachel Gianni, and Myrna Fuller.
Folklorist Elaine Thatcher was the lead scholar and directed both projects. Other scholars and consultants included Michael Johnson, Cindy Hall, Brian Crockett, Lisa Thompson, Tom Carter, Scott Christensen, David Sidwell, Roger Roper, Mont Bona, Robert Parson, and Larry Douglass. Numerous volunteers contributed their stories, opened their barns to tours, and provided other support.
Funding came from the Utah Cultural Heritage Coordination Council, Utah Humanities, Utah State University, Bear River Association of Governments, National Endowment for the Arts, Idaho Travel Council, Mountain West Center for Regional Studies at Utah State University, Utah Conservation Corps, and Utah Division of Transportation.
Publications were produced for each area. Publication dates and copies include: Utah guide: 2004 (800 copies), 2007 (225 copies), 2010 (138 copies), and 2017 (500 copies) Idaho guide: 2006 (550 copies), 2008 (50 copies), and 2014 (500 copies).