The Leonard Barn, frequently referred to as the "round barn" was built by Thomas Andrew (Andy) Leonard in 1917 following the destruction (by fire) of his first barn. Thomas designed and constructed the barn after seeing round barns in Ohio on a trip east.
The barn was built round so the animals would face inward and could be viewed while working. A litter carrier system was designed which ran on runners in a circle and could be used to feed the stock and clean the barn. Constructed prior to electricity, the barn features many windows for light to extend the workday. The barn has a center silo originally to store bean straw and later feed for the animals.
The original cupola was blown of in the early 50s in a 100+ mph windstorm. For years, the opening in the roof allowed the elements in and slowly the 12 laminated ponderosa pine trusses began to rot.
Andy and Kitty Leonard had three children, George Leonard, Oliver Leonard, and Esther (Leonard) Hibbs. Following his father's death, George Leonard continued to farm the land and used the barn to house chickens for his egg business. When George retired from the chicken business, he began restoring the barn. He had five and a half sides of the roof re-shingled and a new paint job completed when he died in 1984. Since George's death the farm has been leased out for wheat farming and the barn has stored old farm equipment and housed a couple of barn owls. Of all of Andy and Kitty Leonard's children, only Esther Hibbs survived to see the restoration of the barn.
During the summer of 1985, two Washington State University architecture students, Steven Eric Nys and David M. Burger, spent the summer researching the history of the barn and drawing architectural plans of it. This project was presented for competition in the Charles E. Peterson Historic American Buildings Survey where it took first place. This project is now a part of the National Park Service.
In 1992 the Washington trust for Historic Preservation declared the barn as one of 10 endangered historic properties.
The barn has been considered by many as the most photographed barn in the Western United States and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987. Fundraising for the barn's restoration was attempted with minimal success. It was only following an offer to purchase the farm that the Oliver Leonard Family Trust decided to fund the restoration of the barn and keep the farm in the family.
Restoration began in the summer of 2000. The restoration included the design and building of a new cupola, the replacement of all 12 trusses, a new roof, leveling of the floor, securing of the second and third floors, replacement of broken windows, rebuilding new doors and a new coat of paint. Each element of the restoration was completed with preservation of the original structure in mind. The restoration was completed in the summer of 2001.
Built:March - June 1917
By:Thomas Andrew Leonard and James H. Cline, Carpenter and Contractor
Restored: August 2000 - July 2001
Restored by: John Teague of P&J Contractors
60 feet in Diameter
Silo in the center
1990 Washington Trust for Historic Preservation Award
1987 National Register of Historic Places
2000 Save America's Treasures National Project