O.C. Barber Colt Barn
Constructed in 1910, the O.C. Barber Colt Barn was part of the Anna Dean Farm which was established by Ohio Columbus Barber, the founder of Barberton. Built as part of his plan for retirement, the farm and ranch was originally intended to raise and sell bulls but was converted in 1912 to house colts. Akron architects Harpster and Bliss built the structure, which was the smallest on the 3,000-acre farm estate. Like many structures on the farm, the Colt Barn featured, and features, the red, white, and blue color scheme that Barber favored. Between Barber's death in 1920 and the establishment of the Barberton Historical Society in 1974, all but nine of the estate's original 35 buildings were razed. However, the Historical Society saved the barn in 1978, and completed restoration of the barn in 1998. The barn is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
Ohio Columbus Barber, a wealthy Ohio-based industrialist who founded the city of Barberton in 1891, retired in 1905 to develop his Anna Dean Farm. Located on what is now Austin Drive and Shenandoah Boulevard, it was one of the smallest of the some 102 buildings on the 3,500-acre Anna Dean Farm. Barber envisioned the farm as a prototype for modern agriculture, and had envisioned Barberton itself as a planned industrial community. The Anna Dean Farm was named after Anna Laura Bevan, Barber's daugther, and her husband, Dr. Arthur Dean Bevan. Barber was also called "America's Match King" because of his controlling stake in the Diamond Match Company.
The Colt Barn is one of the smallest of the Anna Dean Farm buildings. It's 100 feet long. Built in 1910, it had been intended for bulls and was called Bull Barn No. 2, but it was converted in 1912 for colts and mares about to give birth, and was redubbed the Colt Barn. The babies and their mothers spent 6 months in the barn before being moved to live among the other horses. It was built by Akron architects Harpster and Bliss in the Beaux Arts style that Barber loved. On the east side, there was a large paddock area where the colts and the mares could exercise. Between Barber's death in 1920 and the foundation of the Barberton Historical Society in 1974, all but nine of the Anna Dean Farm structures were razed, but they started restoring the structure in 1978.
The Barberton Historical Society completed its restoration of the barn in 1998 with a grant from the Barberton Community Foundation. It is the only original Anna Dean structure in that area; some of the original concrete posts that fenced in the paddock area still remain, and inside it also has the original steel beams. According to the BHS, they are currently using it to store some of their historical artifacts on the lower level.
Summit County / 14-77 Colt Barn - Anna Dean Farm, Remarkable Ohio. Accessed June 22nd 2020. https://remarkableohio.org/index.php?%2Fcategory%2F1354&fbclid=IwAR1oeXO5wkv8NjhGMoBVjCD9_sxy4iqXjItE6qlc3WL7e27cK9Gbx1ngGzk.
O.C. Barber Colt Barn, Barberton, Roadtrippers. Accessed June 22nd 2020. https://maps.roadtrippers.com/us/barberton-oh/points-of-interest/o-c-barber-colt-barn?fbclid=IwAR2x8XsKaE7R9uq39NP8ygNzxbetw_vJGBCqXQMcB2dHiPWGwGtp_Cv8nbc.
Barberton Historical Society of Ohio featuring the Anna Dean Farm, Accessed June 22nd 2020. http://www.annadeanfarm.com/farmbuildings/colt.htm?fbclid=IwAR1oeXO5wkv8NjhGMoBVjCD9_sxy4iqXjItE6qlc3WL7e27cK9Gbx1ngGzk.
Barberton Historical Society, Facebook. Accessed June 22nd 2020. https://www.facebook.com/Barberton.Historical.Society/posts/if-you-havent-driven-by-the-colt-barn-on-austin-drive-lately-you-have-missed-the/10159409057615437/.
Gnap, Bernie. Kelleher, Stephen. Construction of O.C. Barber's Anna Dean Farm. Press of the Barberton Historical Society, Inc., 2009.