Red Barn

Red barn and green event lawn
Photo by Norbert Lucas

One of the Arboretum's most photographed and painted structures, the iconic Red Barn was built in 1920 on what used to be the Williams farm. Framed by a variety of trees and lush prairie, it is a proud symbol of Minnesota's agrarian legacy. 

Visit the iconic red barn by entering the door by the silo! Carefully restored to preserve its history and beauty, interior banners celebrate the legacy of 30 varieties of northern fruits and grains developed by the University of Minnesota. On the lower level, the interpretation explores the history of the barn and offers restrooms for visitors. The barn is open seasonally and is not temperature controlled.


Historic Red Barn


The Arboretum’s Red Barn and Farm is on original tribal homeland of the Dakota people - as is the rest of the Arboretum property and the surrounding region. It became the farmstead of early Swiss immigrant farmers Theodore & Sophie Bost, who cleared the first fields beginning in the 1850s. The University of Minnesota purchased the property in 1968.


The historic Red Barn was built a century ago around 1920 by the Williams family. They had 32 cows and ran a small dairy farm here from the 1920s to the 1960s. The existing Red Barn on the site was built in 1920.