Burnham Barn (c. 1850)

This is a New England bank style barn, built into a hillside with main doors on the gable end. It is 40’ x 62,’ with the ridge running east-west. The foundation is made of large dry-laid stones, with the cellar open on the south side.

The solid main barn, 3 bays wide and 5 bays long. was built specifically for dairying with superior materials, design, and skill. Most of the original features are intact, and what has been repaired has been done tastefully if not authentically. It is a major piece in a series of interesting buildings, including the house.

According to historic-barn expert Ed Pape, the exterior sliding door “appears to be the original arrangement if not the original doors. There is a granite threshold with an iron retainer to keep the doors from swinging out when closed.” The large members are hand hewn, while the braces, nailers, minor rafters are sash sawn. Major rafters in the roof framing have two major purlins running horizontally. Mr. Pape concludes that, “The design and joinery reveal a skilled builder.”

Other interior features:

  • Intact stable with 2nd-floor hayloft above
  • Dirt-and-wood stairway to cellar
  • Manure handled by gravity through hinged scuttle boards
  • Large lifting axle over the main drive
  • Interior silo (installed after 1890)

The frame of the adjacent 16’4” x 28’6” building (circa 1800) is hand hewn. Likely it was the original English-style barn, with the door on the broad side. The roof system features major rafters and minor purlins. Note that the 5 purlins from eave to ridge are pegged into the rafters. Mr. Pape complimented this building’s “character” and recommended its restoration.

While they appear now as one L-shaped structure, the connecting buildings that contain the wellhouse, woodshed, workshop, and outhouse were originally two separate buildings, the original English-style barn and the other the wellhouse/woodshed storage. Over time the separate buildings were extended and attached, and the front wall of the barn cut off to make room for modern garage doors.

Sponsor: Farms & Barns Realtors


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