Sitting to the west of I-25, just past the railroad tracks on the southern end of Douglas County, was the iconic Greenland Barn. Recognizable for miles around, it was a nod to the county’s ranching roots and, perhaps, a commemoration of a simpler time.
Struck by lightning for the second time in its history, the barn burned down in May. (The first lightning strike burned down the first version of the barn in July 1922.) But this piece of Douglas County history may also have a future.
Douglas County Commissioners on June 12 decided they would keep discussing and researching the possibility of rebuilding the barn.
The barn is privately owned by Harmony Land and Cattle, but a conservation easement on the property includes a provision that gives Douglas County the opportunity to rebuild it if damaged or destroyed. Douglas County would fund the reconstruction.
“To have lost this iconic barn in this way is such a tragedy,” said Douglas County Commissioner Lora Thomas. “I think it’s important for people to understand the history that this barn represents. It represents the people who founded our county.”
The County will issue a letter to the barn owners expressing an interest in rebuilding and to inquire about the kind of public use the owners might allow.
In November 2022, Douglas County voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to extend a 0.17% Open Space and Parks Sales and Use Tax. In that measure, voters also approved to expand the use of that funding to historic properties, which could include rebuilding the Greenland Barn.
“Preserving our Rural Cultural Heritage is important in Douglas County,” said Commissioner George Teal. “As a Board, we want the option to rebuild this historic barn into something for our community. Stay tuned.”
Watch this video for more on the history of the Greenland Barn.