A famous traveling horse

Farcour, a famous Belgian draft horse, lives on in the memories in Boone county and in his home where he was buried in 1921. He was a San Francisco World’s Fair champion and is remembered as a service stud with many famous progeny. See Iowa Barns yesterday and today, page 83 for more history of Farcour.

His great-grandson, Brooklyn Supreme, who weighed 3,200 pounds, achieved fame by being the world’s largest horse at one time. Below are two postcards of Brooklyn Supreme. The photo on the left was taken next to railroad tracks, with chutes in the background where livestock was loaded to be shipped by rail. His enormous size would mean that traveling by rail was the only option.

The postcard on the right, based on the photo on the left, was typical of postcards in the 40s and 50s, printed with an attractive scene and flowers to attract­­ buyers. C.G. Good, who owned both horses, hired Ralph Fogleman, in the white suit, to travel with Brooklyn Supreme around the country, charging spectators 10 cents for viewing this giant who died in 1948 at age 20.

Former life forgotten

A barn’s lifetime of existence isn’t long enough. If it had a diary it would relate stories on a daily basis. Did the cows provide enough milk for the family? Did the sow have her piglets today? Did the cats find a new home in the hay? How many mice did they eat this week? How many pigeons claimed it as a home this month? Who are the other critters that live here? 

This barn signed off on the cattle, pigs, birds, mice, cats, and more, many years before this photo was taken in 1979. It was awaiting a death sentence before disappearing in the fog. The house was gone as well as the other buildings on the site, and this barn was destined to disappear, to be replaced by a field of corn.

Barns have a finite lifetime; some have more years, some less. Within a few months after these photos were taken, this barn in Union County along Highway 34, west of the Kent corner, disappeared. It exists now only in photos taken long ago.