The Spectacular Pete French Round Barn
Saturday 9 June 2012 — Category: Outings
my search for the elusive Kiger Mustang. It was on to bigger and better things as I continued north on Happy Valley Road to the Pete French Round Barn, about 10 miles away.
This amazing, one-hundred-foot-diameter structure, which sits at the southern tip of Dry Lake Reservoir, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in a remote part of Eastern Oregon, about 15 miles southeast of Malheur Lake and about eight-and-a-half miles (as the crow flies) north of the hamlet of Diamond, all of which are located in Harney County.
All during my search for the “invisible” mustangs, the sky had been fairly cloudy, but dry. By the time I arrived at the barn around a quarter to noon, some sprinkles were starting to fall, so I was glad that my next photographic subject was indoors. Parking in the nearly-deserted lot, I hurried to the barn to take a quick look inside. There was only one other visitor there — a fellow photographer. Considering how dark it was inside the cavernous building, I was astonished that he was not using a tripod.
Having made my initial survey, I ran back to my truck, mounted my Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens on my Sony α77 camera, grabbed my tripod, and scuttled inside the barn before the rain became heavier. I was looking forward to seeing what kind of photos I could get with this ultra-wide-angle lens.
In the center of the barn is a 64-foot-diameter corral, where the horses were stabled, with large beams of juniper wood supporting the massive roof. Completely encircling the corral is a sixteen-foot-wide paddock, where the horses were exercised and trained. Separating the corral from the paddock is a two-foot-wide, nine-foot-tall circular wall of stone, with wood-framed windows at various points along its circumference, as well as two large, door-like openings. Not only a separating wall, this stone barrier also plays a major role in supporting the huge roof.
For the next hour I took more than 70 photos of the interior and exterior, as well as the surrounding area. I've narrowed it down to the best 26 pictures, including one panoramic photo. Even though it was fairly dark inside the barn, through the magic of digital photography and processing, I've been able to give you a well-illuminated view of the marvels within this historic treasure. I took shots from various angles at numerous points around the inside and outside of the barn. You can explore them all in the Round Barn 2012 photo album.
For a complete list of all the blog entries and photo albums resulting from my trip to Eastern Oregon, be sure to check out the April 2012 Eastern Oregon Photo Outing Recap