31 South Fork Road, Marshall NC 28753

Year Built: early 1900s

Historic Owners: George W. Wild, Claude Wild, Donald and Geraldine Wild


The George and Laura Wild barn and silo represent uncommon innovations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born on Big Pine Creek in 1861, George Washington Wild later demonstrated the expert farming and business acumen of his father Jacob, operating a dairy and tobacco farm, a sawmill, grist mill, post office, blacksmith shop, and store. In 1919 Wild was elected to serve in the NC General Assembly, during which time he introduced a law to require fencing of livestock in order to end the tradition of livestock ranging free. He also had the first electricity in the valley, generated first by a kerosene engine, then by an overshot water wheel. The wooden silo, damaged by wind in early 2015, was the first silo on Big Pine Creek, and is the only wooden silo to survive in Madison County. This large barn measures 52 feet by 58 feet and has an unusual 3-sloped gambrel roof, taking advantage of the newly introduced metal roofing.  Hidden within the rectangular barn is an octagon-shaped structure that forms eight animal stalls, coming together in the center to allow hay to be pitched into all eight stalls from a central hay chute in the hay loft above. G. W. Wild’s grandson Don later related the story of the origin of this unique barn design: a traveling salesman, or “drummer”, from Tennessee sold Wild a set of blueprints for the barn design, an unheard-of innovation for these remote mountains. The large loft was later adapted to air-cure burley tobacco.

Historic Use: livestock and dairy, burley tobacco

Type of Construction: Post and Beam, Sawn lumber, and Stud Frame

Siding Materials: Milled Boards and Lattice

Roof Shape: Gambrel

Roofing Materials: 5-V metal

Roof Framing: Milled rafters and Gambrel roof with post & beam support

Foundation: Dry-Laid Stone

Species of Wood: Chestnut and Various Other

Hinges: Wrought Iron and Commercial Metal

Fasteners: Wire nails

Additional Features:

stall doors have varying latch types.
The interior may have the remains of a grain thrashing floor.
This is the only barn in Madison County found to date with a wood round silo.
Note: the silo was severely damaged by wind in the spring of 2015

Outbuildings: the remains of a spring house is behind the barn.

NOTE: The information above is an abridged list. For the full unabridged list (complete details), please download the PDF of the Data Form above.

NOTE: These photographs are meant to illustrate various features and construction elements of this barn.

George Washington Wild Barn