Jake Lewis first started homesteading this land on December 5, 1905. He had ten children: Charlie, Dorothy, Orville, Mamie, Cecil, Raymond, Daniel, Bill, Donald, and Shirley. The basement for the barn was dug by Jake and his family in the early 1910s. The barn on this property was first built using whole timbers. It had no arched roof and instead the family stored loose hay on the flat roof, in the open air. The roof area was fenced off so that the horses would not eat the feed when they weren’t supposed to. However, one night, a horse managed to get over the fence and walked onto the feed platform. In the morning, Jake Lewis opened the barn door on the south side of the barn. To his surprise, he saw the horse staring him in the face. The horse had fallen through the rotten logs on the roof and landed inside the barn on the ground floor. Luckily, the horse was not injured.
Over time, the whole timbers making up the walls and roof rotted. In 1944/1945, the Lewis family and their neighbours mixed cement, built forms, and assembled rocks for the current foundation. Daniel Lewis, Jack’s son, remembers dropping field stones into the forms for the wall. In the past, this method was often used to reduce the amount of cement needed to build a barn. In 1949, the family updated the roof from a flat roof to an arched roof with the help of Merl Carmackel. An arched roof meant that bales could be stored in the loft out of the rain. Since the barn is a bank barn, the bales would have been brought through the northern door on the top of the hill.
Jake Lewis used the barn for his horses, which he was very fond of, beef cattle, and milking cows. He stopped keeping livestock in the early 1970s and passed away in the late 1970s. Mamie Lewis had the property for the time after that. Since Mamie passed away in 1954, the property and the barn have belonged to Mary-Ann Lewis.
Lewis, Daniel. Personal communication. 2 Aug. 2016.
52.637391, -111.801434 NW 22-42-13 W4.
Barn Condition: Good
Construction Date: Over the years of 1910s – 1949
Features: Hay hood, dormer
Roof Shape: Arched
Decorations: No names or dates
Roof Covering: Metal
Siding: Wooden shiplap and plywood
Additional History on the Property
“Jake Lewis”. As the Wheel Turns: A History of Merna and District. 1st ed. Sedgewick: The Community Press, 1971. Print.
The first Jake Lewis house was built on the same property as the barn and stood there for many years. The original house was added onto many times in order to accommodate the growing family. Daniel Lewis, who orally recounted his family’s history for this database, is pictured in the second photo from “As the Wheel Turns: A History of Merna and District.”
Chevraux, Sharleen M.”Chapter 2: Before the Settlers: 1754-1885″. The Ten Dollar Bets. 1st ed. Winnipeg: Inter-Collegiate Press, 1967. Print.
Jake was very found of his horses. He is pictured here with his neighbour, Jack Young. You can learn more about the Youngs under the name “Berg” in the Barn Database.
Chevraux, Sharleen M.”Chapter 4″. The Ten Dollar Bets. 1st ed. Winnipeg: Inter- Collegiate Press, 1967. Print.
J.A. Lewis is shown on the NW 22-42-13 W4. This homestead map shows many original settlers in the surrounding area. Some of their barns still stand and some of those are featured in this database.
“Homestead Map.” As the Wheel Turns: A History of Merna and District. 1st ed. Sedgewick: The Community Press, 1971. Print.