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The Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst Barn is located at 15220 Military Ave. in Bennington, Nebraska. Built in 1935, it was considered one of the greatest dairy farms in the midwest because of its exceptional product quality and the measures taken to achieve such high quality. The Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst (Ackerhurst for short) dairy farm is an example of Dutch Gambrel architecture that is rare to find in this region. It was officially designated as an Omaha Local Landmark on March 5th, 2002 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 28th, 2002. Today the barn is in excellent condition and is used primarily for weddings and private events.


  • Black and White Ackerhurst Barn
  • Ackerhurst Barn prior to major renovations.
  • Holstein cows are usually black and white or red and white in color with a spotted pattern that is unique to each cow.  Holstein cows are still the most popular breed for American dairy farms.
  • Southeast view of the barn.  This picture has been modified from its PDF format.
  • Southwest view of the barn.  This picture has been modified from its PDF format.
  • The milking floor in 2001.  It has since been renovated and is used today as a dining space for weddings and private events.  This picture has been modified from its PDF format.
  • The hayloft in 2001.  The hayloft has been renovated to host wedding ceremonies.  This picture has been modified from its PDF format.
  • The Ackerhurst Barn's truss system.  Trusses are beams that support the roof.  These trusses are made of wood, but most modern structures use metal.  This picture has been modified from its PDF format.
  • These milk stanchions at Two River Non-Stock Cooperative in Waterloo, Nebraska would have been similar to the ones used at the Ackerhurst farm.  You can see in the photograph the windows along the wall are a similar design to the milking floor windows at the Ackerhurst Barn.  The function of these windows was to
  • An employee of Two River milking a cow.  The cows used at Two River are also Holstein cattle.
  • An employee of Two River pouring milk into a canister to be processed and pasturized.
  • Canisters like these kept milk cool while in transport from the farm to a processing facility.  There, the milk would be pasteurized and bottled for consumer use.  A typical canister held five gallons of milk.
  • This silo was previously painted as the jack-o-lantern in the first picture.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • A modern view of the barn.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • Main entrance to the barn.  An elevator was added during renovations.  The silo is an aesthetic addition to cover the elevator.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • This house is located on the property but is not included as part of the Local Landmark. The garage is known as the "Man Cave" and is used by wedding parties for the groom and men to get ready. Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • Front view of the house.  There are no definitive plans on what will be done with it but there have been discussions about renovations.  Aside from the garage, the house itself serves no significant purpose for the barn's current use as an event venue. Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • A photo of a Holstein cow at the Ackerhurst farm, located in the lobby. Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • An aerial view of the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm, located in the lobby.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • The lobby at the Barn.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • This area is used by the bridal party to prepare for the wedding.  It's located on the second floor and separated from the hayloft by large, repurposed church doors.  Before renovations in 2015, this was being used as an apartment.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • The hayloft serves as the main event center.  The large boxes on the wall contain heating and air conditioning units.  The roof and wooden trusses are all the same wood from when it was first created in 1935.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • The outdoor patio.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • Outdoor ceremonies are very popular.  This barn is part of the Glacier Creek Preserve, owned by the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • The Bridal Room.  There is also a dressing room and a hair and makeup room.  Photo taken May 6, 2020.
  • The milking parlor at the Ackerhurst dairy farm.
  • The Ackerhurst Dairy Barn before renovations.  The Barn was originally white but was painted red later.

The dairy barn was built in 1935 by owner Anthony W. Ackermann. Ackermann was a dairyman and businessman originally from the Boston area. Ackermann was part of a popularizing trend in dairy farms and a rapidly growing dairy market in Nebraska. There were only five operating local creameries before 1930, but by 1935 there were 52. The advancements in agriculture, architecture, and technology like electronic refrigeration made it an ideal time to create a state-of-the-art facility. Ackermann hired Adolph Otte, an architect from Elkhorn, Nebraska, to build the massive barn. The project began in March and on July 4th the barn was completed, measuring 193 ft long, 40 ft wide, and 40 ft tall. Otte hired eight to ten men who worked ten hour shifts seven days a week to complete the barn in five months. Some workers even slept in a tent on site to guard the lumber. No expense was spared in creating this massive building, and it paid off over the years. The milk from the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm was of high quality and highly sought after. The milk produced here was sold to Robert's Dairy, which has since changed its name to Hiland Dairy.

The Ackerhurst Dairy Farm milk was high quality because of the high standards that the barn functioned at. The milking equipment was made of stainless steel, the best in the business at the time. Nearly 100 pure bred Holstein cows were milked regularly three times a day at 7 a.m., 3 p.m., and 11 p.m. A veterinarian was always available on site and the hay fed to the cows was high quality, the haymow stocked full three times a year. Each time a dairy attendant entered the barn he/she was required to change into a new, fresh uniform. The health of the attendants was assessed monthly.

Instead of having to transport the milk to a processing facility, the milk was processed at the pasteurizing house on the property. The Ackermann herd produced an average of 538 lbs. of butterfat each year, a world record and making the Ackermann Dairy Farm one of Nebraska's top producers of butterfat. In 1937, only two years after the barn's construction, the Ackerhurst Holsteins significantly contributed to making Nebraska the fourth leading producer of creamery butter in the United States.

After only seven years, Ackermann sold the dairy farm to Robert Anderson in 1942, who then renamed it Anderhurst Dairy. Anderson only kept the dairy farm for six years before selling the farm to Fred Eipperle Sr. The property was then renamed Eipperhurst Farm and Dairy. The Eipperle's saw continued success with their Holstein herd and in 1962, set a state record of 1,161 lbs of butterfat made by a single cow. The record-setting cow, Abarland Insignia Bobelle, produced over 13 tons of milk that year. The dairy farm remained in the family until 1995. The Welchert Construction Company purchased the property and used the barn for office and storage space. In 1999, the Welchert Construction Company transferred ownership to The Barn Inc., the company that currently owns and operates the facility as an event venue.

The Ackerhurst Barn today is used primarily as an event venue for weddings and large gatherings. This includes corporate events, fundraisers, prom, bar/bat mitzvah, etc. It has three levels, each serving as a functional gathering space. The Barn underwent its most extensive renovations in 2015 to prepare it for use as a legal event venue and in April 2016, the first wedding ceremony was held in the milking parlor, despite ongoing construction and renovation work. For a whole year the Barn had construction work done every week Sunday through Thursday and hosted weddings in the milking parlor on Fridays and Saturdays. Thursdays and Fridays were spent cleaning the facility and removing construction equipment so guests could enjoy the venue without distraction. The first wedding in the hayloft was hosted in May 2017. The Barn is able to accommodate 450 guests in the hayloft and haymow (the second and third floors), but usually has between 200-300 guests per event. Despite how large this building is, only a single party may use it at a time and only one event is scheduled for a single day. It continues to be a popular choice locally for couples who desire a rustic barn theme for their wedding.

1. "Ackerhurst Doors Open." The Omaha World-Herald (Omaha) November 26th 1935. 24. https://infoweb.newsbank.com/apps/news/document-view?p=AMNEWS&sort=YMD_date%3AA&fld-base-0=alltext&maxresults=20&val-base-0=ackerhurst&docref=image/v2%3A1106B5BBD4B623A8%40EANX-NB-13678B46217AB1D7%402428133-135FE291945FFDB4%4023-135FE291945FFDB4%40

2. "Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst Dairy Barn." Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission. Accessed April 16th 2020. https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/article/3962-ackerhurst-eipperhurst-dairy-barn. 

3. “Application for Landmark or Landmark Heritage District.” Landmarks Heritage Preservation Commission, July 5, 2001. https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/images/pdf/Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst_Dairy_Barn/Ackerhurst_Dairy_Barn_Local_Landmark_Designation_Report.pdf.

4. "The Barn: About." The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm. Accessed April 18th 2020. https://www.omahabarn.com/about.

5. "The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm - Extended Cut." Produced by A Final Take Films & DJ. April 8, 2020. Video, 8:03. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utSUPdfOOxo.

6. Carolan, Bonnie. Personal Interview between Bonnie Carolan and Dana Broer, May 6, 2020.

7. Kollmorgan, Walter. The Butter Industry of Nebraska. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. March 1938. Accessed April 17th 2020. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1352&context=conservationsurvey.

8. "National Register of Historic Places Registration Form." United States Department of the Interior National Park Service. Accessed April 17th 2020. https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/images/pdf/Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst_Dairy_Barn/DO09_1372-001-Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst-Dairy-Barn.pdf.

9. PhotoMary. Ackerhurst Dairy Barn, Omaha, NE. October 4, 2011. Own work. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ackerhurst-Dairy-Barn-Omaha-NE.jpg.

10. Shahn, Ben. Milk Cans on the Thaxton Farm, Near... 1938. 1 negative : nitrate, 35 mm. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540. http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa1997017857/PP.

11. Weller, Keith. “K5176-3 : USDA ARS.” Accessed April 18, 2020. https://www.ars.usda.gov/oc/images/photos/k5176-3/.

12. Wolcott, Marion. Cows Being Milked in Dairy Barn at Two... September 1941. 1 negative : safety, 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches or smaller. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540. http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa2000040136/PP.

13. Wolcott, Marion. Cows Being Milked in Dairy Barn at Two... September 1941. 1 negative : safety, 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches or smaller. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540. http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa2000040137/PP.

14. Wolcott, Marion Post. Don Shinaut, in Charge of Dairy... September 1941. 1 negative : safety, 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 inches or smaller. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540. http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa2000040164/PP.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/article/3962-ackerhurst-eipperhurst-dairy-barn

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ackerhurst-Dairy-Barn-Omaha-NE.jpg

https://www.ars.usda.gov/oc/images/photos/k5176-3/

https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/images/pdf/Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst_Dairy_Barn/DO09_1372-001-Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst-Dairy-Barn.pdf

https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/images/pdf/Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst_Dairy_Barn/DO09_1372-001-Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst-Dairy-Barn.pdf

https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/images/pdf/Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst_Dairy_Barn/DO09_1372-001-Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst-Dairy-Barn.pdf

https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/images/pdf/Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst_Dairy_Barn/DO09_1372-001-Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst-Dairy-Barn.pdf

https://landmark.cityofomaha.org/images/pdf/Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst_Dairy_Barn/DO09_1372-001-Ackerhurst-Eipperhurst-Dairy-Barn.pdf

http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa2000040136/PP

http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa2000040137/PP

http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa2000040164/PP

http://photogrammar.yale.edu/records/index.php?record=fsa1997017857/PP

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo by Dana Broer

Photo used with permission. Provided by Dee Hopkins

Photo used with permission. Provided by Dee Hopkins.