Morden Research Station Barn - 1928

100 06755The barn was built in 1928 to house the research station's Percheron horses. 

Six years later, the station had already gained recognition for their work with the horses, both on the Canadian Prairies and in the mid-western US.  By 1948 though, the Percheron barn was converted to the young stock barn; and in 1961, after ending all animal research, the barn was converted to a plant growth rooms building.

When the barn was built, WR Leslie, superintendent of the station described it saying, "It is a horse barn of economical construction, but modern type."  The barn appears to have been of special design specifically for horses, drafted by the architects working in the draughting room of the Central Experimental Farm.

One of the chief features of the design is its ventilation system.  At this time, it was already recognized that ventilation was key to preventing dampness and disease among the animals.  For this purpose, the barn was built only 32' wide so that it could heat up sufficiently during the cold winter months.  The hot air was then able to rise up through the ventilators, while fresh air was drawn in through an open window.  During the summer, open windows and doors carried out excess moisture, poisonous gases, and odors, while bringing in fresh air.  Care was taken to ensure a sanitary and warm horse barn.  The concrete floors cleaned easily and the wooden walls were insulative.

During its time as a growth rooms building, the barn was transformed.  Many of the original openings such as the large animal entry, hayloft door and numerous first story windows were closed.  The interior became a lab with white walls and ceilings, narrow hallways and climate controlled compartments for botany experiments.

Although the interior no longer bears any resemblance to the Percheron barn, the original wooden exterior does remain intact beneath the metal-clad exterior.

The barn was donated by the Morden Research Station in 1989 and moved to the museum grounds in 1990.  It features horse drawn equipment.

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