Officially called the Central Wisconsin State Fair Round Barn, this record-holder is the focal point of the fairgrounds in Marshfield. Round barns had a “boom period” between 1880 and 1920, particularly in the Midwest, as “progressive” farming methods built of principles of industrial efficiency were being implemented. Wind resistance and better air flow inside for cooler summertime conditions were – and still are – considered two key advantage with round barns.
This “World’s Largest Round Barn” was constructed in 1916, without the use of scaffolding. Its diameter spans 150 feet and the cupola capping the barn is 70 feet off the ground.
The barn was built as a show barn and area, with stanchions capable of showcasing 250 head of cattle at a time. It has been used every year since its opening in 1916 for that purpose and also serves as the centerpiece for the Central Wisconsin State Fair. It has 88,000 shingles covering its expansive roof.
Tours of the World’s Largest Round Barn are available for $1 per person. You can arrange a tour by calling (715) 387-1261.
The Central Wisconsin State Fairgrounds are located on the southeast side of Marshfield, close to U.S. 10 and Highway 13. It is most easily accessed via Central Avenue, today’s Business 13. Highway 97 is just a mile or so to the north and Highway 80 approaches within a few miles from the south. Wildwood Zoo, Marshfield Clinic, and the Blue Heron Brewpub are also close by.
World’s Largest Round Barn Address:
513 E. 17th Street
Marshfield, WI 54449