Portage County Barns Project

The Barn Project of Portage County is an initiative of the Portage County Historical Society and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, GIS Center.  Historical barns are disappearing across the Wisconsin landscape in large numbers.   Structure loss from snow load, old age, and disinvestment due to the decline of the family farm are a few key reasons for loss.  Barns share a slice of cultural history in Wisconsin that local people and tourists value.  It is important to document this history, long after these structures disappear. The initiative has photo documented 1,516 barns from Portage County, Wisconsin.  A group of 23 historical barn enthusiasts provided photo documentation.  

The GIS Center is helping to develop an interactive, geographic database that links photos and other documentation about barns to where the barn currently exists in Portage County.  Douglas Miskowiak, GIS Education Specialist at the GIS Center articulates the power of a geographic information system (GIS).

“Although barns may be razed over time, the GIS database will forever document the important geographic, cultural and structural heritage of Wisconsin barns.”  

Ben Ebertz, a student at the GIS Center is providing GIS and web-media services using Google map mashups and Google Earth technologies. Ebertz has geo-located each barn structure, and linked it to photo graphs provided by the historical society. With the internet mapping tools, users can search for photos of their favorite barn and with additional information, can learn more about the history of the structure.  

Additional information about the barn project of Portage County is available from the Stevens Point Journal at: “The Barn Project of Portage County” 

Portage County Barn Map

View Portage County Barns in a larger map

Photo Gallery

A special thanks to the following photographers:
Leo & Barb Meronek
​Lorraine Kostuch
Joe Boero
Arlene Meyerhofer
Anton & Mary Beth Anday
Larry Adams
Lowell Klessig with Justin & Lynn
Faith Woytasik
​Laura Pflibsen
Don Romundson & Laurie Low
Jay West
Ron & Sandy Roth
Gary Pizewski
Dave & Marlis Partrukus
Tom & Margi Guth
Rick & Colleen Simmons

If you have any interesting photos or history of Portage County Barns and you would like to have them displayed on the website please contact either Laura Flibsen, Don Romundson, or Ben Ebertz.

For More Information Please Contact: 
Douglas Miskowiak 
GIS Education Specialist