The Whitewater Falls Stock Farm
The Whitewater Fall Stock Farm Barn was established in Towanda, KS by proprietor James W. Robinson. It is located along the Whitewater River in the southwest corner of Fairview Township, in Butler County, Kansas. The farm was established in 1884 and, at its peak in the early 20th century, encompassed a few thousand acres in Fairview and Murdock Townships. The iconic barn was built in 1909, long with a craftsman-era residence, and a few outbuildings associated with the farming operation. The Robinson's specialized in the breeding of Percheron Horses, Shorthorn Cattle and Duroc Hogs, along with many other animals over the course of their lives.
These pictures are from the family's personal collection and show their home in 1922, 1926 and 1928.
The impressive Craftsman-style house on the Whitewater Falls Stock Farm was designed by El Dorado architect Carl Muck and built in 1917 to replace the former residence, which had burned down. The residence is two stories with five bedrooms and is oriented to the south. The first story is clad in a mixture of dark red and brown tapestry bricks. The second story is stucco with half-timbering. There is a single brick chimney generally centered on the home’s roof. The interior of the house retains the original floor plan to this day, with original quarter-sawn oak floors throughout the majority of the first floor, wood trim, an open stairway leading upstairs to second floor.
The barn, located east of the residence, is an impressive showpiece that the Robison's built to market their famous Percheron horses. It was designed by Wichita-based architect Ulysses Grant Charles and completed in 1909. This Kansas barn exhibits elements of the Greek Revival style, primarily with the cornice returns and the porte cochere. It measures 64 feet by 120 feet, and the eaves are 20 feet and 24 feet high on the west and east ends, respectively. It is 48 feet high at the peak of the rafters and a square cupola with a weather vane extends another 10 feet.
The dedication of the great central barn occurred on June 5, 1909. Two thousand invited guests were transported by special trains from nearby towns and cities and made merry at the largest barn dance ever held in Kansas.