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Mequon -- The Frank Vocke octagonal barn is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.

The barn, 1901 W. Pioneer Road, Mequon, was built in 1891.

This designation from the Wisconsin Historical Society provides a location with certain benefits such as income tax credits as well as grants for rehabilitation.  It does not restrict use of the property by the owners.

The description on the Wisconsin Historical Society website said the barn has board siding, a hipped roof, octagonal cupola, large sliding doors, and fieldstone foundation with small window openings.

"This barn is good and is one of the few centric barns remaining in Mequon,” the website states.

It was designed by Ernst Clausing, who specialized in designing and constructing centric barns, according to a news release.  This barn was the first of many octagonal dairy and horse barns for Clausing and his brother to be built in Ozaukee County.

According to the release, round barns are becoming rarer and are distinctive not only for their round shape but they “represent a period of experimentation in agriculture at the turn of the 20th century.”

It further said the round shape was efficient.

“The dairy cattle were housed on the main floor with hay storage above and the silo in the center,” the release reads.

The Vocke family were friends and neighbors of the Clausings, according to the release.  The Vockes operated the barn as part of an 80-acre dairy farm through the 1950s.

The Fuldner Heritage Fund paid for the preparation of the nomination.  This fund was created through a donation from the Jeffris Family Foundation.  It “supports the nomination of historically and architecturally significant rural and small town properties,” according to the release.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official national list in America and is maintained by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior.  According to the release, the list consists of “sites, buildings, structures, objects, and districts that are significant in national, state, or local history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture.”

To learn more, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.

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