Like most of the Finnish immigrants who came to northern Wisconsin between 1890 and 1910, Annala settled here with the goal of farming the cutover lands, a former forest that had been clearcut by loggers. When the clay soil, punctuated with stumps and boulders, proved unsuitable for agriculture, Annala, like his neighbors, turned to dairy farming. To shelter his cows from frigid winters, Annala built this round fieldstone barn, the only known example in the state made entirely of stone. Annala’s walls required little mortar to fit the multicolored stones. On the ground floor, windows are set in segmental arches, and the barn is crowned with a two-pitched gambrel roof, using a drum-and-hoop support system formed of hemlock rafters, surmounted by a circular cupola for ventilation. Inside is a central silo, also of fieldstone; the clay tile extension at the second story was added in 1938. In 1943, Annala built the fieldstone ramp to the wagon entrance on the second floor, probably a replacement for an earlier one. Around 1928, Annala added a round milk house next to the barn. The abundance of mortar reflects relatively little attention to fieldstone craftsmanship. Nonetheless, beaded mortar joints and a cobblestone chimney help to create a charming structure. Annala originally designed the chimney to resemble a milk bottle, but he left it unfinished. Until the mid-1940s, he piped fresh milk from the barn to the milk house, where he bottled it for delivery to area markets.
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Matthew Annala Round Barn and Milk House
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