A reader sent this article to me (Thank you) and I thought it was very interesting… Perfect for a Friday read.

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Pete French’s Round Barn

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On his extensive property, French built three round barns for training his horses during the winter months. However, only one still stands today, exactly as it did 130 years ago ago. While the circular barn was somewhat common by the late 19th century, it was more rare in Oregon, and French’s exceptionally large round barn was an engineering marvel at the time it was built in the 1880s.

The inner ring of the 100-foot-diameter barn held the stables, while the outer was a track used to exercise the animals. Each ring was separated by a circular wall built from lava rocks. The umbrella-like ceiling was held by local juniper posts (which now house a family of owls). French most likely learned about these engineering techniques in California before bringing them to Oregon, where he used local materials to create the same design.

Because of French’s shady land dealings, he was somewhat disliked by locals. When he was murdered by rival homesteader Edward Oliver after an argument, Oliver was not found guilty. Supposedly, French had whipped Oliver with a cattle whip before riding away and getting shot in the back. Despite this unfortunate end, French lives on through his historical round barn representing the industry he built. The site has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and was recently restored using the same techniques as the time it was built.

This post has been sponsored by Travel Oregon. Experience the magic . 


I found this article here.

Round Barn Construction

The construction of the Round Barn
When round barns started to appear in Indiana, Purdue University, the state’s leading agricultural school, opinion of them was very low. They declared that “round barns were a peculiarity; built to suit the whims of owners. A barn originally constructed to fill a definite need and well suited to do that need, may become unsuited to future needs through changed conndition, changed in operator, or changes in type of farming.” 1
There may be some truth in this statement. Round barns were very usual and their height and size alone would stand out in any Indiana’s cornfield. Because these barns were very expensive to build (anywhere from $200 to $2,000), they would most likely to have been located on wealthier farms. In some circles, a round barn symbolized power and prestige not a place to settle cows and store feed for the winter. And when the farm industry began to change, it would have been costly for the farm to remodel the barn for newer equipment.
But round barns were more than a fad; round barns were an inspiring piece of architectural for the 1900s. Its uniqueness could almost be compared with the Guggenheim Museum of the 1950s. It enhances the beauty that surrounds the area.
And, despite criticisms from agricultural schools, trade magazines and newspapers, the round barns served the farmer’s needs. They were versatile enough to allow worker s the room to do different chores at once. Depending on the farmer’s budget, builder used everything from stone, to concrete, to lumber in constructing these barn and because it was round, everyone could work on any piece. When Benton Steele and Frank Detraz began advertising the design for their round barns, they claimed their barn was sufficient enough to hold a feeding room, grain, silage and more than 180 to 200 head of cattle.
The Indiana Farmer review wrote a bad review of the construction of barn in 1903. But instead of becoming upset, the team made greater changes to the construction of their round barns. Among the newer features included:
· A greater capacity with the same amount of material used.
· A roof that would be entirely self-supporting.
· Adding greater strength to the roof and side walls to aid against destruction from wind and tornadoes.
· No sides of ends to bulge out to ensure maximum usage of space.
There was several reasons farmers lost interest in building round barns. Larger farming equipment could not easily be stored in them, especially when owners built their round barns to meet their specifications. By the late 1920s, farm prices were dropping, and with the Great Depression not far behind, few farmers had money to build anything. By the 1940s, manufactured barns were cheap and quicker to build.
But even after 100 years, Indiana’s round barns are still a structural wonder.

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Mama Tess’ Lineage!

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 | Filed under Mama Tess

Yesterday, I wrote about Aladdin and  his lineage.  I was surprised how many of you enjoyed that post!

Many of you asked about Mama Tess’ lineage.

So, today I’m will show you!


Mama Tess is actually named, HVK Noble Heiress.  (HVK stands for Herbert V. Kohler – yes of the Kohler brand sinks, tubs…)  I went to the Kohler Farms to purchase her in 1992.  If you’d like to know about that experience, I have a podcast here.

Mama Tess’ registration. Her sire, Noble Flaire is known as one of the most successful, if not THE best, Morgan sire of all time. He did not breed to outside mares. If you wanted one of his get, you had to buy one of theirs – from Kohler Farms.

Mama Tess in her heyday! Morgan National Champion Park Harness Mares and Geldings.  Her real name is HVK Noble Heiress.


I forgot to mention in the podcast that Tommy (Kohler’s trainer at the time) brought Noble Flaire out for me!  Oh my Horsegods, that was a treat!  The stallion KNEW he was somebody.  Such elegance and presence… He had ‘it’.  Amazing.


Noble Flaire.

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Noble Flaire, Tess’ sire.


Another of Noble Flaire, arguably the most successful Morgan Horse, ever.


Well, I couldn’t find any photos of Maywine, MT’s dam.  But I did find photos of Vigilmarch, Maywine’s sire – so MT’s Grand sire on her dam’s side.

Vigilmarch. Mama Tess’ grand sire on her dam’s side.

Vigilmarch. I was told that Tess’ face/eye looked like his – and like Maywine’s.


This photo was her first year showing at the Grand Nationals. We qualified in hand, so we showed her in hand. We never, ever even thought she would place but she ended up 4th - which was awesome since we really had only planned on showing her in performance classes.

This photo was her first year showing at the Grand Nationals. We qualified in hand, so we showed her in hand. We never, ever even thought she would place but she ended up 4th – which was awesome since we really had only planned on showing her in performance classes.


Mama Tess had 6 foals.  All did well.  Click here to see them.  (I have her first foal, Flaire’s Gwendolyn, and her last foal, Wrigley.)

Here is a piece on Noble Flaire…  Originally posted here.

The Passing of a Legend . . . Noble Flaire
Monday, August 14, 2006
by Diana Davidson

The passing of Noble Flaire on July 28, 2006, saddened the Morgan industry and the show horse world. Perhaps once in every century there is a horse that revolutionizes its breed. While the breed was founded in 1789 by the stallion that went on to be known as Justin Morgan, there have been few other horses to have such an impact onAmerica’s First breed. Noble Flaire certainly will go down in history as a horse of this magnitude.

Just as Justin Morgan’s good looks, conformation, heart and athletic ability set him ahead of his contemporaries, so too did those of Noble Flaire. From our earliest memories of him making his now famous park harness debut in Northampton with people literally running to watch him show and following him down the track after the class, the legend began. The explosive power and awe-inspiring athleticism that Noble Flaire possessed did indeed set him ahead of his contemporaries.

Noble Flaire radiated the aura of greatness from the very beginning. Foaled on January 28, 1984, at the famed Whitney Stables in Cox’s Creek,Kentucky, the bay stallion by Noble Command and out of Lost River Sanfield was registered by Judy Whitney as Noble Flaire. It was only fitting that the horse with seemingly preordained greatness carry such a name.

Bob and Judy Whitney saw the potential of this colt from early on. True to his nature, Bob Whitney phoned Tom Caisse to come take a look. And the rest, as they say, is history. On September 10, 1984, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. became the owner of Noble Flaire.

The partnership of Noble Flaire, Mr. Kohler, and Tom Caisse would be well chronicled over the next nearly 22 years. They have indeed proven that it takes courage to experience greatness. The loss of Noble Flaire ends an era at Kohler Stables where the two names have become synonymous. “I feel privileged to have been the person who directed this horse’s great career and have lost a special friend,” Tom Caisse related following the passing of Noble Flaire.

Beginning with the foundation stallion Vigilmarch, Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. and Kohler Stables embarked with a vision for their breeding program. The purchase of Noble Flaire was the next step. The show ring performances of Noble Flaire are indeed legendary. His every performance was highly anticipated by the Morgan show world, and they were never disappointed. His five trips to the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show produced a total of eight World Championships. His final show ring performance came in 1991 when he wore the roses as the Park Harness World Grand Champion for the third time after also earning the World Champion Stallion title days earlier for the second time.

It seems hard to believe that Noble Flaire’s final show ring performance was 15 years ago, and that many present-day Morgan enthusiasts never had the opportunity to see him show in person. While Noble Flaire days in the show ring may have been done, his place in the show ring was well preserved. Just as he set the standard and raised the bar, his get have paved an even greater legacy for Noble Flaire.

The first foal sired by Noble Flaire was certainly a clear indication of the mark he would make in the breeding shed. The only foal sired in 1987 by Noble Flaire would go on to earn star status in his own right as the celebrated World Champion HVK Courageous Flaire (out of Val’s Christy). The ensuing foal crops in the 1980s would also produce show ring stars and World Champions including HVK Forte (out of Windy Hill Colleen), HVK Make Em Cry (out of HVK Cimarron), HVK Noble Wine (out of HVK Maywine), Issues N Answers (out of B-L Superfection), Marin Affaire (out of Sky Ridge Lil Sister), and Nostradamus (out of Beam’s Victoria).

The promising beginning of Noble Flaire’s breeding career was catapulted to new heights in the 1990s through the Kohler Stables band of stellar broodmares and a few select outside mares. The names HVK Noble Obsession, HVK Noble Heiress, HVK Take The Roses, HVK Noble Wind, HVK Tiz Flaire, HVK Flaire Rose, HVK Grand Entrance, HVK Trafalgar, HVK Stueben, HVK Heartbeat, HVK Man About Town, HVK Winter Rose, HVK Pavarotti, HVK Primary Light, HVK Noble Flame, HVK March Flaire, HVK Crystal Bay, HVK Classic Design, HVK Flash Back, HVK Man Of Distinction, All Flaire’d Up, Relentless Flaire, Carlyle Upper Caisse, Grandiose, Flaire For Music, Favorite Son, and Three Wishes are but a few of the show ring winners from coast to coast sired by Noble Flaire.

The 1990s would also produce a trio of stallions who would proudly carry on their sire’s legacy as Park Harness World Grand Champion. HVK Bell Flaire (1994, 1997, 1999), Queens Vanity Flair (1995 and 1996) and HVK Vibrance (2001 and 2002) carried the torch. In 2002 HVK Bell Flaire (out of HVK Belleek) also became the first Morgan to earn the Triple Crown as he added the Park Saddle World Grand Championship to his trio of Park Harness World Grand Championships and the 1994 World Champion Stallion title.

The genetic strength of Noble Flaire has been passed on from him to his sons and daughters who have in turn done the same. The influence of Noble Flaire in the show ring and the gene pool of the Morgan breed are assured in perpetuity. The legend of Noble Flaire lives on.

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