SIDNEY — Robert Kroeger, of Cincinnati, created 17 Shelby County barn paintings to raise awareness for historic barn preservation in November 2021. He then donated them to the County Wide Historical Alliance as a fundraising opportunity. A 2023 calendar and note cards were created with the images of the paintings.
The Alliance has announced the paintings will be going up for auction online during the month of July.
McLean Township “The Road Leads Home”
It’s easy to see why this farm’s founder, Joseph Ernst – who immigrated here from Germany in 1852 – chose this land to farm. From a distance the fields stretch far and wide, ideal for agriculture.
Twenty years later, around 1870, he built this barn, which his great-great-grandson Ken Ernst now uses for cattle and straw. Ken said Joseph used sawmills instead of hand-hewing beams from trees on the property. Indeed, the beams are sawn but still connected in traditional timber framing with mortise and tenon joints, held with wooden pegs.
Today the 200 acres of farmland produces corn, soybeans, and wheat. Ken also raises dairy cows. And, after 150 years, the road still leads home.
Paintings on display
The paintings have been on display at various community festivals and will be displayed at the Shelby County Fair at the end of July. The paintings will be located in the Bicentennial Traveling Museum that will be parked next to the Community Foundation Hall. The calendars and sets of 14 note cards will be available for sale for $15 each.
Each painting will be listed by lot number with a description. Opening bids will start at $50 and each subsequent bid will go up by $5. Bids can be made at TroyKies.hibid.com. There will be a total of 19 paintings auctioned off.
The auction will end on Friday, July 29, at 6:30 p.m. The winners of the bids are to pick up their paintings on Saturday, July 30, between 1 and 3 p.m. at the Traveling Museum inside the Shelby County Fairgrounds or arrange a pickup at a future time with the Shelby County Historical Society.
For more information, contact the Shelby County Historical Society, 937-498-1653 or [email protected]