This barn is believed to have been built in the 1930s by Byron Gale with the help of his family and neighbours. Ed Gale, Byron’s father, came to the area in 1917 from St. Thomas, Ontario. Byron served in World War II and bought the farm from Ed when he came back home after the war.
Jean and Helen Morel moved to the property this barn sits on in 1952. They acquired the land under the Veterans Land Act as Jean had served in the Second World War. Jean had been living in the Galahad area with his uncle, August Billiot, before he was called back to France at the beginning of the war and decided to come back to the area after the war. He met Helen while returning an incorrectly mailed letter while still in the Galahad region. They moved to this property after their marriage in 1949.
Jean and Helen used the barn for milk cows in the early days. Five milk cows were enough to keep them afloat. Helen remembers that they would receive the cream cheque and most of it would be gone by Monday to pay the expenses. However, after the family purchased some piglets with loan money from a friend, they found life much more stable. In recent years, the barn has been used for storage or left vacant.
The barn is very unique because the ground floor walls are cordwood construction. From the outside, this can look like field stone construction but it is actually debarked trees laid perpendicular to the wall’s direction and bound together with mortar. This method makes for a very durable building.
Morel, Helen. Personal communication. 28 Jul. 2017.
52.347180, -112.041897 SW 13-39-15 W4
Barn Condition: Fair
Construction Date: Believed 1930s
Features: Single cupola
Roof Shape: Gambrel
Decorations: No names or dates
Roof Covering: Metal
Foundation: Cordwood and cement
Additional History on the Property
Gale Family History
Gale, B., Murray, A., & O’Neill, B. “Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Gale”. Halkirk Home Fires and Area. 1st ed. Halkirk: Halkirk Historical Society, 1985. Print.
Morel Family History
Morel, Helen. “Jean Morel”. Halkirk Home Fires and Area. 1st ed. Halkirk: Halkirk Historical Society, 1985. Print.