Old St. Andrews



The Great Barn



Nov 3/1898
Sir William’s 20,000 dollar barn
Rapid Progress being made on the Foundation by Contractor McKenzie and His men.

Minister’s Island is the busiest hive of industry in this section, Mr. James McKenzie, contractor for the erection for the stone foundation of Sir William Van Horne’s $20,000 barn, having 30 men and half as many horses engaged in the work. The teams are kept busy in ploughing out the trenches for the wall, in hauling cement and other material from the cars, and in gathering field stone for the structure. Although the crew have only had about ten working days, the greater part of the main wall for the building has been built, and a start has been made upon the annex. the walls vary in thickness from three feet to two feet. Although made of field stone they are very smooth and substantial looking. The stone is all laid in Portland cement, so as to ensure the greatest amount of durability and strength. Mr. McKenzie sis well pleased with the progress he is making, and with the harmony which prevails among his men. He thinks that if he has fair weather he will be able to complete his contract in another four weeks without any trouble. The plans reveal an immense structure with high double towers, which will given it quite a castellated appearance. These round towers are the silos. Beneath one is the cook house, where the food for the cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry will be prepared. Under the other is a large bull pound. Besides these apartments, the basement will contain a large space for young cattle, a piggery, root cellar and compost heap. the later will be located immediately beneath the cattle stable and will be arranged on the latest scientific principle. the stall space for cattle will be very large, indicating that Sir William purposes conducting his experiment on no mean scale. the poultry will have a fine run in the main building, with an abundance of light. The barn will be a model one in every respect, and will surpass anything of the kind that exists in the lower provinces. the superstructure will not be begun until next spring. Mr. McKenzie has a camp for his men on the grounds. James Henderson is the landlord. They have Mr. Norris for a cook and are living on the fat of the land. Under the one roof are the cook house, dining room and sleeping quarters for the men. Mr. McKenzie has a separate room for himself, adjoining the kitchen. In it he has three sleeping berths, a dining table and a stove. Although in poor health lately, life on Minister’s Island seems to be agreeing with him.