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Horseshoe Bay Farms (Murphy Farms Barns)

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1917. East side of County Rd. G, 0.5 miles north of County Rd. B

In 1917, Frank Murphy, a prominent Green Bay businessman and developer, founded Murphy Farms with his nephew. They raised purebred cattle, some of them world champions, and they stabled them in gambrel-roofed Wisconsin dairy barns. Following the latest animal husbandry advice from the University of Wisconsin’s Agricultural Experiment Station, the barns were designed to provide cows with good ventilation and sunshine for fresh air and sanitation. Dormers, rooftop ventilators, and a window for each animal were important elements of these barns. The typical Wisconsin dairy barn was a long two-story bank barn, with a gambrel roof and a gabled hay hood protecting the doors to the loft. Inside the basement, two rows of cattle stanchions, with a central aisle between them, ran from gable to gable. For sanitary purposes, the floors were usually concrete, covered with cork or wooden bricks to make it more comfortable for the beasts. These three wooden barns display the unexpected sophistication of the Craftsman style, including shed dormers, knee braces, rafter tails, gabled dormers with trefoils piercing the arched wooden trim, and curvilinear ogee cutouts on some of the gable ends.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Horseshoe Bay Farms (Murphy Farms Barns)", [Egg Harbor, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 279-279.

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