The Seely Barn is located in the middle of the block between
Fourth and Fifth West and Main and First North.
A new book, If Barns Could Talk, compiled by Doug Mottonen features the Seely Barn as one of the first barns built in the Utah Territory. It was built in 1862 without the use of a single nail. But its history doesn't stop there. It also served as a jail for Native American women and children when Sanpete County Pioneers fought the Utes and other neighboring tribes from 1865 until 1972.
|A look inside the Seely barn shows the master craftsmanship of early Pioneers. |
When the men were lifting the timbers, one man, who they called "Joe Heave", would call out "heave" so that they could lift together the heavy beams into place. It's original construction site was on 5th west, halfway between Main Street and 1st North. It was later moved to Main Street on the creek so that the animals could have water more readily. From there it was moved to its present location.1
Looking closely at the barn's construction shows the care and craftsmanship it took to build in an era when nails were scarce. The barn's history tells us all of the hardships the early pioneers sustained in settling this area.
Doug Mottonen in his book says, "What I found over the years is that if you talked to somebody about barns, it not only told about who they were, but who we are as a people." "There's a little bit of barn in all of us." Doug's book also features the Mt. Pleasant Relic Home and Blacksmith Shop.
The book can be purchased at the Relic Home.
1. taken from history of the barn by Sue Ann Seely Crenshaw.