The sixth barn quilt in Lincoln County was hung in late 2017 on the Roets farm located at N840 Chestnut Ave. east of Merrill. The Roets family joins the Heidemann family whose farm is located east of Merrill on Range Line Road, the Buck family whose farm is located east of Merrill on State Highway 64, the Koehler family whose farm is located west of Merrill on State Highway 64 and 107, the Pope-Will family whose farm is located on Pope Road just north of Merrill and the Hanson family whose farm is on Highway 17 north of Gleason, in being part of the Lincoln County Barn Quilt Project.
The Roets farm was originally the Jaeger homestead. The barn where the quilt is hung was built around 1920 from sawed lumber and rocks probably found on the property. Steven F. Roets bought the land to farm in 1976 and in 1980 the buildings were purchased by Steve and Cheryl Roets, putting the farm back together. The Roets’ have been updating and remodeling the barn since they purchased the property. Today the barn is still used as a traditional 40 stall pipeline dairy. The barn is wider than most at 40 feet and 100 feet long. It has some of the original stone foundation still in place today. The north side of the barn features an earth ramp that leads to the second floor of the barn. The top of the barn is timber frame with a gable roof. The wood shingles remain under a steel roof on the north and under a composite shingle and a green metal roof on the south. The barn ends were done in grey steel in 2015. In 2016 the south east corner of the foundation was replaced with cement block. When this was done, three old horse shoes were found buried in the rocks believed to be purposely buried there to keep the barn safe. The horse shoes were put back into the footings of the new wall.
The barn quilt was designed with family input by Steven M. Roets in a quilted style and is a rendition of the Roets Family Crest. Red and yellow are the original colors. Roet can be translated to little wheel. The quilt was painted by family members during the summer and then hung by D and T Contractors of Gleason in late fall of 2017. The Roets’ are proud that this barn quilt helps preserve the barn and family history.
Through the cooperation of the University of Wisconsin-Extension Lincoln County, the Merrill Historical Society, Lincoln County Farm Bureau and with startup funding from the Merrill Area Community Foundation, the Lincoln County Barn Quilt project was initiated in 2013. Through this project, people will be able to view our historic agricultural icons in their new role as public art.
The Barn Quilt Committee is currently seeking donations to fund additional barn quilts. For more information about the Lincoln County Barn Quilt project or to donate, visit http://lincoln.uwex.edu/p/lincoln-county-barn-quilt-project/ or contact Debbie Moellendorf at the Lincoln County UW-Extension office at 715-539-0177 or Bea Lebal or Pat Burg at the Merrill Historical Society at 715-536-5652.