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Van Sickle Station Ranch Barn

Built: 1850's

Location: Foothill Road

This barn is reportedly the oldest working barn in Nevada and has been in working condition since the 1850's. The Pony Express horses were liveried here. Also, this was the last stop for the emigrants headed for gold fields in California after crossing the desert. Henry Van Sickle repaired their wagons. It is said that up to 600 teams of horses and oxen were liveried here a night. It was quite a busines, they were taking in $1,000 in gold coins a night.

The barn's history is sketchy. There is one story that the barn was originally built in Virginia City in the 1850s. There is another story that it was originally set on the east side of the road, but they found it was too swampy and moved it to it's current location. It was rebuilt by Henry Van Sickle.

The barn measures 80’ long by 62’ wide. It has several scarf joints which are unusual for this locale. The barn was built in the Pennsylvania “bank a’hill, stone to weather” style, where one end of the barn is nestled into the hill so the harvest can be taken directly into the loft without using a hoist. The bones of it are all tongue and groove, with hand-hewn timbers, no bolts, no nails.

Van Sickle owned the barn from 1855 to 1894, losing the ranch a few years before his death. There followed various owners and tenants until 1944; Fritz & Margaret Ruppel, 1944-1970; Robert & Ann Alexander, 1970-1994; Dwight & Susanne Haldan, 1994-1996; Roger and Gail Teig, 1996.

Text from: Barns of Carson Valley - A Pictorial History, Douglas County Historical Society

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