Swett Ranch Homestead: Horse Barn

How would a person operate a ranch before the automobile and mechanized farm equipment? Horses are the answer. In the case of the Swetts, horses were vital to the ranches activities. They provided the power for the equipment for nearly sixty years, long after tractors and trucks were available.

This is one of the first outbuildings that Oscar constructed as the horses needed protection from the elements. The barn was chinked with clay and straw to keep out the wind. The interior had a horizontal ceiling of rough-hewn planks with over a foot of straw covering the planks for insulation. A pitched roof covered with straw and mud originally protected the ceiling. Telephone wire insulator pegs from the old Forest Service telephone line were used to hold a pole in place at the bottom of the roof, helping to retain the sod. This sod was later removed by the Forest Service to preserve the wood.

 Photo that shows a present day view of the horse barn.

Present day view of the horse barn.