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 that the paintings will be auctioned online during the month of July.
Township of Perry “Dell’s Delight”
A large sign on the dairy adjacent to this old barn announces the dairy, “Dell Delight Farms, the Sailors,” words that surround a black and white Holstein. The barn, located among the trees and behind a foreground of harvested corn, made a beautiful composition. An American flag, partially hidden by trees, was a bonus.
Organizers caught up with Randy Sailor, the current owner, who inherited the farm when his father died in 2012. He said his great-grandfather, GR Gross, bought the farm in 1919. His great-grandfather great-grandparents were from Champaign County. So naturally his roots go deep into farming and he still milks 90 dairy cows twice a day – in a building adjacent to the barn, which they updated for “modern” dairy farming from 1955 to 1973. .
The barn, Randy said, was built around 1880, around the time the mansard roof was introduced as a means of storing more hay than the conventional gable barn. In some cases, barns have been modified by changing the gambrel-shaped gable. Beneath this barn – where the cattle are kept – there are several hand-hewn walnut beams. Over the years the families continued to farm and made modifications to preserve the barn. In the 1940s – Randy’s father “Ned” took over in 1941 – they added a metal roof and in 1998 they covered the exterior with a steel cladding. The barn is now ready for anything Mother Nature throws at it. After all, if fortune continues to smile, Dell’s Delight will continue to produce milk for many generations of sailors.
The paintings have been exhibited at various community festivals and will be on display at the Shelby County Fair in late July. The paintings will be located in the traveling Bicentennial Museum which 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 increase by $5. Bids can be made at TroyKies.hibid.com. A total of 19 paintings will be auctioned.
The auction will end Friday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m. Auction winners must pick up their paintings Saturday, July 30 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the traveling museum inside the Shelby County Fairgrounds or arrange a pickup. at a later date with the Shelby County Historical Society.
For more information, contact the Shelby County Historical Society, 937-498-1653 or [email protected]
Perry Township’s “Dell’s Delight”