Friday, October 3, 2014


A beloved old barn in our town of Brookfield, Wisconsin was torn down this week.  About a year ago right now I spent a beautiful and warm autumn day on the grounds, sketching this stately old barn.   Nothing fancy or frame-worthy - just a simple watercolor sketch.  

From my sketchbook on 11/11/13: 

"The Eble Barn was built in 1936.  The barn and 31 surrounding acres were donated to Waukesha County for the purpose of a park.  Florence Eble, unmarried grand-daughter, had hopes that this green space would remain on Blue Mound Road, for use by children."

"Mrs. Eble made dinners for all during the two days of the barn raising - creamed onions, meats, and bread.  Pitcher after pitcher of lemonade, water, and coffee," said Dorothy, daughter of Della Eble.

Two days of teamwork and fellowship produced this barn in 1936.  

Now, 78 years later, it took one day to bring it down.  

It's been a landmark on Blue Mound Road since long before I was born.  Next to the barn stood the old farmhouse and a huge flower garden surrounded by a white picket fence.  Such a pretty and unexpected sight in the middle of all the big box stores and restaurants that have been creeping up on it for years.  So, one more reminder of days gone by has vanished.  

As the article states, "The Eble Barn is no more."

Now there's nothing left to break the monotony of Best Buy, Chuck E. Cheese, and Babies R Us.


Brookfield — The Eble Barn is no more.
The historic structure that has been a part of the Bluemound Road corridor for decades was demolished Tuesday, bringing an absolute end to a long debate regarding the future of the barn.
Family members had previously argued against Waukesha County's decision to demolish the landmark, stating that Florence Eble's 1987 donation of the barn to the county was on the condition that it remain standing in Eble Park.
But, county officials said there was no evidence that such a condition existed. Waukesha County Director of Parks and Land Use Dale Shaver noted that rehabilitating the barn and bringing it up to code for event rental would have costed hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The county has not settled on a definite plan for the future of Eble Park; however, officials have stated intent to erect a structure, such as a gazebo, made from materials leftover from the barn.

I think I may need to take another look at my photos from that day and take another shot at painting the old Eble Barn.

Thanks for looking!


Jules Woolford said...

How very sad, but what a great portrayal of this special place Nan.

Sandra and Hennie Cronje said...

Thanks for sharing the history of the barn. Love your painting.
Lots of blessings



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