The 1810 New England "Yankee Barn"
was moved to the Portage County Historical Society in 1974. It had
been located on Dawley Road in Ravenna Township. Miss Ardis Pfile
was the donor of the barn. It had been in her family for nearly 120
years. The Dawley family owned the land earlier.
Dr. Alfred C. Mahan, a former Portage County resident, living in
Willoughby, Ohio at the time, provided generous funding for the moving
and rebuilding of the barn. It is named in honor of his mother and
According to past Portage County Historical Society newsletters:
Amish men from Burton, Ohio disassembled the barn in February 1974.
As the barn was being taken apart they marked each piece for the proper
reconstruction on the museum grounds. It took three days to move all
the pieces from the Pfile property to the museum grounds. Amish men
Robert Detwiler and his brothers Lester, Owen and Minno and a cousin
Christ Byler along with Cy Plough and Ed Ruester laid the foundation
stones and sub-plate for the framework of the barn. Some of the posts
from the barn were decayed and needed to be replaced. A barn built
in 1830 in Palmyra Township, originally owned by the Hughes family,
located on Whippoorwill Road, was being torn down by current owner
William Francis. Material from the barn was donated to help finish
the Mahan Barn. According to the Society's newsletters on November
1, 1974 the frame of the barn was completed as of June 3, 1975 the
siding was completed, the floor was being laid and the doors were
ready to hang. In November 1975 the wood shingles had been purchased
and work progressed on the roof as weather allowed. The Barn was finished
in August 1976. The barn measures 40 feet x 30 feet.
Also assisting in the project were: Gene Morris, William Nash, Ed
Ruester, Joe Waranai, Earl Proehl, Herman Miller Jr., Jim Justice,
Dave Simon, Fred Laughlin, Ralph Gates, Bob Fleishman, and Robert
A shed roof addition has been added on the west and south side of
the barn.This area contains larger farm implements and wagons that
have recently been donated to the museum.
The barn is currently used for storage of wagons and other farm
tools and is open for viewing during regular hours if volunteer is