CHOKIO, Minn. — A stone barn that rises out of the far western Minnesota prairie like a cathedral was built by Frank Schott and his sons, William and Anthony, starting in 1923.
The construction began with the foundation and the family worked on the barn for 20 years. The foundation is 2 feet wide and 5 feet deep.
The barn measures 50 feet by 33 feet with stone and concrete wall 18 inches thick. It had stalls for 14 cows and several horses.
Frank Schott emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1907. He learned the art of stone masonry from his father and grandfather.
The rocks were raised by block and tackle using horses or a tractor to pull the rocks into the desired location. The rocks were dropped into a fresh cement mixture.
The barn is on the Big Stone and Stevens county line along County Highway 56 southwest of Chokio.
The barn can be seen from a distance and is located on Walk-In Access land, which is private land managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and open during any legal hunting season. The roof of the barn constructed of wooden shingles was burned by vandals, according to a story in The Land magazine.