JC Adams Stone Barn History

The J.C. Adams Stone barn dates to 1885 and it is unique in its size and romanesque revival stone construction. Built at a cost of $10,000, cattle rancher J. C. Adams hired two swedish immigrant stonemasons to help construct it. The single piece stone arches for the barn were imported from St. Louis, Missouri, and shipped by steamboat to Fort Benton. When it was completed, the Sun River Press newspaper called it the "Marvel of Montana". The barn is 140 feet long and 40 feet wide, and is topped with a life sized horse weathervane. The original weathervane is on display in Fort Benton, Montana and a replica now sits atop the barn.
The main section of the barn was used to house cattle. The west wing contained horse stalls and a tack room. The east wing was used as a garage for storing wagons, and had a cooled room for holding dressed meat. When the barn was completed, Adams held a roller skating party in its massive loft and it quickly became a showcase for the Sun River valley.

When J.C. Adams died in 1913, his widow (who had 9 children to support) was unable to pay the taxes on the farm and after that it had several owners.
By 1979 the stone barn was in need of repairs. That year, Mike and Theresa Stuckslager nominated the barn for placement on the National Register of Historic Places, to which it was added. That same year, the Dracut Junction Stone Barn Company was established as a non-profit to take ownership of the barn and the land it stood on. In 1980 the non-profit received a $79,000 preservation grant which enabled many structural improvements to be completed. Another $31,000 was raised locally. The rededication of the Adams Stone Barn in August 1981 was attended by Montana Governer Ted Schwinden and Alma Adams Morgan, the 101-year-old surviving child of J.C. Adams. In 2007 the Dracut Junction Stone Barn COmpany was reorganized into the current J.C. Adams Stone Barn Company and it is working to build a group of enthusiastic volunteers and supporters who will continue efforts to preserve the barn. Membership is open to the public, annual memberships are $25 per individual (tax deductible donation). Members have one vote and must be present to vote. Donations of any amount are always welcome. For more information, Please fill out our contact form Here.

For more information contact Bob Milford, 406-788-0876 or PO Box 1554, Fort Benton, MT 59442.