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Porthole Barns of Greene County
(Greene Co.)




This grouping of 30 barns can be seen dotting the countryside north of St. Louis. Joe Minch, a shipbuilder who migrated to the Rockbridge area in 1874, offered to build a barn for a local farmer in exchange for a set of tools. Included in his design was a round, porthole window that was a carry-over from his shipbuilding days and became a signature of his work. Because agricultural practices have changed dramatically in the last century, these barns are often too small to accommodate modern farming equipment. Lack of use and deferred maintenance has led to the steady deterioration of Minch’s barns. Four of the barns attributed to Minch have been lost in recent years and it is feared that much of the collection will disappear if not stabilized. 


To view and print a local map from the 2009 “Quilted” tour, which highlighted these endangered porthole barns click here.




Greene County Porthole Barns
(Springfield) State Journal-Register, December 18, 2009





To volunteer with the local historic preservation group, or assist individual barn-owners with maintenance needs please contact:


Seth McGee
Illinois Valley Cultural Heritage Association
Rural Route 1, Box 135
Eldred, IL 62027
Phone: 217-638-2103








Landmarks Illinois
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Chicago, IL 60604 
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fax 312-922-8112



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