Pole Barn

The Pole barn consists of lightweight posts or poles, supporting a shallow pitched, gable roof, constructed of wood or metal. Some pole barns have metal sheathing that forms walls; others are left open. The pole barn represents a post-World War II move toward economy and flexible, open space in barns. Pole barns could be erected inexpensively, using easily available materials and unskilled labor. They served many purposes, from sheltering livestock to housing the ever growing inventory of farm machinery. Modern barns on this plan often house young cattle. As long as they don't get wet, young beef or dairy cattle can tolerate quite low temperatures. It is much cheaper to build a pole barn than a traditional barn. Pole barns are not associated with any particular production system, nor are they associated with any particular ethnic group. They represent the modernizing agriculture of the mid twentieth century.

Tioga County pole barn with wood sheathing.
Pole Barn, Tioga County, c. 1960

Bradford County pole barn with an open interior.
Pole Barn, Bradford County, c. 1960

Pole Barn, Liberty Township, Montour County, c. 1980
Pole Barn, Liberty Township, Montour County, c. 1980.
(Site 093-LI-002)