Barn on Ames Farm restored by current owner

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Ginny Hall | May 16, 2014

The Ames Farm at N4492 Bowers Road in the town of Geneva features the barn quilt “Sunburst.” Mary Ames purchased the farm, located just south of Hospital Road, in 2003. 

That purchase is connected to the family farm which has been in their family since 1852 when it was bought by John W. Ames.  It has seen seven generations of the Ames family on the land.  Currently the Ames compound totals more than 400 acres.

The barn, which you see, was built about 75 years ago. The original barn was destroyed by fire. The wood barn was completely restored after the 2003 purchase. The old milk house which survived that early fire — along with the milk cans — also has been restored. 

The original farm purchase is located at the Bowers/Hospital road intersection.  According to the 1857 plat map it was 140 acres in Sections 1 and 12 in the town of Geneva. 

At that time J. Johnson owned the 100 acres which now house the barn shown here. The 1873 plat book shows the owner as R. B. Daniels. From 1891 to at least 1907 the owner was H. J. Noblet. 

In 1921, the owner was listed as Herman Doern. In 1930 through 1948, the owner was shown as Herman Dorn. It would seem like it was only a change of spelling rather than a change of ownership. In 1964 the owner was listed as Allen and Marian Dorn.

In 1966 the owner was shown as Henry, Irene, Christopher and Barbara Szymansin. In 1970, only Henry Szymansin was listed as the owner.  In both 1972 and 1973 the owner was shown as Henry Christopher. In 1975 the owner reverted back to Henry Szymansin.

The next owner beginning in 1980 was shown as Irene Szymansin. She kept ownership through 2002.
Ginny Hall, a historian from Delavan, is author of the “Walking around ...” and “Meandering ... ” books, which highlight the history of Walworth County communities.

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