Nineteenth century Shakers, a religious minority with colonies in New York and several New England states, had a fondness for round barns.
In his book An Age of Barns, landscape painter Eric Sloane explains that the Shakers regarded the circle as the perfect form. “Farmers made circular designs on their barns, and their wives sewed circular patterns on quilts. The Shakers used the circle in their ‘inspirational drawings’ … they took delight in round hats, rugs and boxes; and they made round drawer-pulls and hand-rests for their severely angled furniture. There is a saying that the round barn was intended ‘to keep the devil from hiding in corners.’“