See history through an unmatched and rewarding experience. Ryan’s Round barn is a recognizable symbol of Henry County’s rich agricultural heritage. Nestled on a knoll near the entrance of the 1,361-acre Johnson Sauk Trail State Park, the barn was the brainstorm and pet project of a turn-of-the-century Chicago brain surgeon named Lawrence P. Ryan. The industrious doctor deviated from the standard square barn design that dotted the countryside and built a barn “round”. The barn is a three-level, domed-ceiling structure built on a slope so that the first and second floors are easily accessible from the outside at ground level. Built by carpenters who specialized in round barn construction, it measures 80 feet tall and 85 feet in diameter.
Ryan’s Round Barn is one of only 42 Illinois round barns in existence. Thanks to a dedicated group of concerned people, a unique piece of America’s agrarian past has been preserved for posterity. The barn is owned by Illinois Department of Natural Resources however it is operated and maintained by The Friends of Johnson’s Park Foundation.