Big White Barn on Hill
by Dick Perue
As one of the local historians, a frequently asked question about my hometown of Saratoga is,“What’s the skinny on that big white barn on the hill North of town?”
On Oct. 9, 1914 the Carbon County Journal noted the following.
“At the Canary Ranch near Saratoga a large two-story concrete barn is being erected, which will be the most modern of any barn in the county. It will be lighted with electricity and every convenience will be installed.”
And here’s what “The Saratoga Sun” reported on Dec. 3, 1914.
“J. D. Canary arrived here last Friday with three cars of breeding cattle for his Thoroughbred ranch north of town. The shipment was all young heifers and one big, grown herd bull. Mr. Canary will not ship the balance of his stuff until the spring. He has yet about 80 young bulls and two or three hundred head of she stock to place on this ranch next season. His stuff are all prize ring stock, and are all a great credit to this valley. Mr. Canary is an old time stockman, down in Oklahoma and the Kansas country, and for years has handled very little but thoroughbred stuff.
His handsome new barn, 50×100 feet, is almost complete. This barn will hold 90 bulls, in stalls, on the ground floor, which is concrete up to the second story. This can be scrubbed clean in fifteen minutes by a drainage system and water pressure. The second floor will hold 370 tons of loose hay, and 16 head of horses. A team and wagon can be driven into the second story and turned around several times. Later on, we will produce a picture of the finished barn and a complete description.
Over the years the distinct structure has been the site of many dances, shindigs, parties and gatherings including one in September of 1994 hosted by Dick and Peggy Hiser, today’s caretakers of the famous barn. As in 1994, the present owners are Saratoga Land & Cattle Co. and leased by the CHK Cattle Co. managed by the Hisers.
The invitation to the barn party read, in part, “We thought you might have some questions about the BIG BARN, and thanks to our local historian Elva Evans, Gay Alcorn, Dick Perue and former owner Merwyn Powell we have a little information for you.”
In addition to the above stories, the invitation revealed, “Arthur G. Huntington of Saratoga was contracted to build it. It was to measure 50×100 feet and 49 feet to the ‘cone’ on top.”