The property this barn stands on is thought to have been first owned by Carl Mead and then by William Oscar and Lydia Simons. The Tanton family moved to the property this barn sits on in 1943. Laird and Thelma Tanton raised their five children on this farm: Ron (’41), Lloyd, Marilyn, David, and Joyce (’52). This barn was built to replace the original barn on the property, which had a roof that was sagging horribly. It was built in 1948 by George Tanton, Laird’s father. You can read more about the George Tanton family at the end of this profile. In the beginning, the Laird Tanton family raised only enough livestock to feed their own family. But, as time moved on, they were slowly able to increase the number of milk cows, pigs, and chickens they raised.
For the much of its use, this barn has had the phrase “PARKVIEW FARM” painted on the southern slope of the barn’s roof. This farm’s name originates from the old Park School. This barn stands on the same quarter of land upon which the old Park School District schoolhouse used to stand on. Laird Tanton caught the family’s hired-man sitting on the roof of this barn, gazing to the eastward, trying to spot Park School’s beautiful teacher. Laird Tanton noticed this and decided it would be amusing to name the farm “Parkview Farm” after the incident.
The children of Laird and Thelma have many fond memories of their time with this barn. Ron recalls how his youngest sister, Joyce, would read bible passages to the milk cows, but it seemed to him that her bible was always problematically held upside-down. Additionally, Joyce had a way with horses. Specifically, Ron remembers this one pony that could not be easily handled by anyone except for her. Ron also shared that, one time, his brother, Lloyd, forgot to shut the pen’s gate in the evening after handling the cattle. It was the middle of winter and most of the family was asleep by the time Laird Tanton noticed the stock had gotten out into the farmyard. Promptly, Laird woke Lloyd up and sent him out to catch the cattle without shoes on. Lloyd remembered that lesson for a long time and never forgot to lock the pen gates again. Marilyn shared that she didn’t often go out into the barn because most of what went on in there was “men’s work”. However, she does remember how the family used to butcher their cattle in the barn. Marilyn had the disagreeable task of stirring the pot of blood the family collected for blood sausage. She would stir the pot as the blood was collected and then stir it as it was brought into the house for Thelma to make the sausages. Ron also shared how he would spray milk for the barn cats while milking the cows and how the barn’s pigeons were perfect target practice with BB guns.
In 1967, Lloyd and Sheila Tanton began living on this property. They had five children: Louise (’68), Michael, Gary, and a set of twins, Raymond and Craig (’75). The family used the barn for milk cows and sold cream in Sedgewick for a time. They also had pigs, chickens, and horses. Shelia remembers her children playing in the loft of the barn. Today, she humorously questions whether swinging around the loft on the hay carrier’s rope or jumping out of the loft was actually a safe idea. She is glad that no one ever got hurt and that so many good memories were made by her children in the barn.
In 2005, Craig and Tara Tanton began living on this property. They had three children: Emily (’02), Shelby (’03), and Cabrie (’08). Just a few weeks ago, Tara caught her kids and their friends jumping out of the loft of the barn into a pile of hay they created. Craig and Tara use the barn for storage of hay bales and miscellaneous items. They currently have 4 cow-calf pairs that sometimes use the barn. In 2007, the roof had tin put on to replace the original cedar shingles. In 2011, the outside of the barn was repainted to protect the original shiplap siding.
Tanton, Marilyn, Ron, Shelia, & Tara. Personal communication. 19 Jul. 2017.
“Farm Buildings”. Sedgewick Sentinel: A History of Sedgewick and Surrounding Districts. 1st Ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982, pg. 778. Print.
52.815621, -111.583463 SE 30-44-12 W4
Barn Condition: Good
Construction Date: 1948
Features: Two wooden cupolas
Roof Shape: Gambrel
Paint: Red with white trim
Decorations: Used to have “PARKVIEW FARM” painted on the southern half of the barn’s roof
Roof Covering: Metal
Siding: Wooden shiplap
Additional History on the Property
History on George and Janet Tanton & Laird and Thelma Tanton
“Tanton Family History”. Sedgewick Sentinel: A History of Sedgewick and Surrounding Districts. 1st Ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print.
History on Park School
“Park School”. Sedgewick Sentinel: A History of Sedgewick and Surrounding Districts. 1st Ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print.
History on William Oscar and Lydia Simons & Carl Mead
Eastly, A.W. “William Oscar and Lydia Simons”. Sedgewick Sentinel: A History of Sedgewick and Surrounding Districts. 1st Ed. Sedgewick: Sedgewick Historical Society, 1982. Print.