Century old barn is now on the National Register of Historic Places .
The Cassgram reports The brick and framed, tin roof structure achieved the distinction for both its architectural classification of being a petite-sized banked barn (built into a partially excavated hill) and its significance in agriculture/animal history. It is “the only known building of its type and size, with an association to this type of farming, to remain in Cass County,” according to the narrative accompanying the designation.
The barn was built in 1883 by Gottfried Gustav Pitz who had emigrated from Germany to the United States in 1868 when he was 19 years old. Being a truck farmer or, as some were more commonly called, market gardener, Pitz grew vegetables, raised grapes for wine and kept bees for honey on his 30-acre property. He then traveled with carts behind animals into Plattsmouth and Omaha to sell his produce.
The barn “serves as a rare remnant” of these farming practices in this region of Nebraska, says a statement supporting the significance of the structure.
It is a one and a half story structure that is only 16 by 16 feet. The first floor has a dry-laid brick floor which demonstrates the German influence in its construction. There are two stalls—one for a horse and one for a cow. The second floor was used for storing hay for the animals below. It has never had electricity and experienced only minor repairs.
The barn at 903 Livingston Road on the eastern fringe of Plattsmouth is now on property owned by Max Muller, the great-great grandson of Pitz.
Another great-great grandson, Morgan Muller, says a lot of the credit should go to Margo Prentiss, curator of the Cass County Historical Society Museum, for her work on submitting the forms needed for the barn to be placed on the register.
In the narrative: “In terms of historic integrity, the barn itself retains excellent integrity of materials, design, location, workmanship, feeling and association.” (A picture of the barn is at www.cassgram.com.)