‘Round Barns of America’ – Times Gazette

Editor’s note — Robert Kroeger, the Cincinnati man who painted and wrote stories about some of Highland County’s historic barns in 2015, has published a new book titled “Round Barns of America, 75 Icons of History.”

Yes, these deposits were round or any polygonal shape without a right angle: circular, octagonal, even hexadecagonal. Many – but not all – farmers who built them were rich, prosperous enough to take a chance on a unique form. Their stories are equally unique.

The oldest existing round barn, a nine-story one, located in the town of Angelica in western New York, features the story of John Church and his wife Angelica, sister of Elizabeth Schuyler, wife of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Did Thomas Jefferson’s love of the octagon rub off on Angelica, who spent years in Paris with Jefferson? Did President George Washington’s 16-sided warehouse play a role in Angelica’s design? The author documents these curious warehouses – from the east coast to the west coast – and enjoys their colorful stories, some of them intriguing old fabrics and rich stories like Absalom Jennings and his Nutwood, the round brick barn built in 1858 of Ohio, and Schandor. Herz, who was born in Slovakia in the 19th century and raised in Chicago, ended his years on a luxurious Kentucky horse farm in Bourbon County with its rare tetradecagonal barn.

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Together, these 75 round barns represent a cross-section of American pioneers, from the years before the American Revolution to the glory decades of the round barn – the 1870s to the 1920s. He is the quintessential American.

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Kroeger, a native of Youngstown, practiced general dentistry from 1977 to 2010, when he retired. He and his wife Laura live in Cincinnati, where they enjoy spending time with their nine grandchildren.

He is a second-generation artist, though unlike his father Francis, who had an art degree from Notre Dame, his professional art career blossomed later in life. Although he did not immediately follow in his father’s footsteps, Robert’s career as a dentist allowed him to study the value of color and facial aesthetic principles in smile design.

Kroeger is the author of “Historic Barns of Ohio,” a book that features a barn, its paintings, and its essays in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. He also wrote two books on dentistry and seven books on golf in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland, including “To The 14th Tee”, “The Links of Wales”, “The Golf Courses of Old Tom Morris”, ” Golf on the Links in Ireland”, “Golf on the Links in England”, “Complete Guide to the Golf Courses in Scotland” and “The Secrets of Islay”.

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This is his second book on old storage, but hopefully not his last. You can contact him through the website, www.barnart.weebly.com.

This is the cover of Robert Kroeger’s new book “Round Barns of America, 75 Icons of History”.

Kroeger was at Highland County in 2015


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