By Deb Hadachek Telescope editor
A historic barn in extreme northwest Republic County came a step closer to salvation and new life this week.
The barn on the Woodland Place Stock Farm will receive a $44,448 grant from the Kansas Heritage Trust Fund for restoration.
Owners Locke and Jolynn Elliott Pierce, Woodland Park, Colo., would eventually like to turn the barn into a sawmill and timber enterprise. “It is expected that some of the restoration work can be started to help preserve the barn from further damage,” Locke Pierce said Monday.
“Completion will come as resources are available, but this is a big assist with getting us going toward the restoration goal and the plan for setting up a sawmill and drying barn for hardwoods.” The Pierce’s request was one of 15 projects that received a total of $753,434 in grants awarded by the Trust Fund.
Monies in the fund come from documenting filing fees collected in Register of Deeds offices. Pierce said the award is partial funding of the request made to the Heritage Trust Fund, and he is awaiting written confirmation of what part of the grant request was approved.
The Woodland Place Stock Farm was nominated to the Register because of two Midwest Prairie style barns. The KSHS says that Midwest Prairie Style is designated as an Agricultural Resource. Also counted as a contributing resource is the landscape itself; it retains significant elements associated with the farmstead including natural (creek and timber stands) and man-made elements (hedgerows, farm access road, concrete stock tanks, and the site of the original farmhouse, which was destroyed by a fire in the 1970s.
Certified Tree Farm
The large timber area on the farm comprised of black walnut and burr oak stands is being managed as a tree farm. The farm received the designation as a Certified Tree Farm by the American Tree Farm System.
The farm also continue to raise corn, milo, soybeans and alfalfa to support a cattle herd.
The Woodland Place Stock Farm is located near the townsite of White Rock and was listed on the Kansas Register of Historic Places in 2015. Mrs. Pierce is the greatgranddaughter of Joseph and Bertie Elliott, who owned the farm at the turn of the century. The original Woodland ranch was established by George and Elizabeth Johnson, who donated land for the Pawnee Indian Village State Historic Site.
George Johnson is believed to be the second settler in White Rock Township in 1869.
The Johnsons started a cattle stock farm that became known as Woodland Place Stock Farm and then Woodland Ranch, a name that the Pierces’ reclaimed in 2009.
The Elliotts purchased the ranch from the Johnsons. It was handed down to EJ Elliott and then Richard Elliott, who actively farmed until 1977 and continued to manage the farm until his death in 2009.