Originally Posted By: northern hewer
Hello everyone tonight:

I guess that I am taken back alittle that it seems that in New England the English barns predated the "New England Barns" whereas in our area the reverse seems to be true.

Maybe we need alittle bit more clarification on this issue,

Thanks all for coming on board


Hi NH:

The English Barn is the older style around these parts. I think design drivers depends on what one needed in a barn at the time. New England is not great farmland, pretty rocky, but it is great grazing land. As I've studied, once the midwest opened up after the civil war and railroads really got things connected, New England farms were not able to compete w/ the "bread basket" of the midwest, some of the most productive land in the world as far as grain and vegetables.

New Englanders switched to livestock and put that grazing land to good use. Dairy (and to a lesser extent, beef) really took off as the new farming trend.

A farmer needs a big barn to do dairy to any scale. The long aisle of a New England barn proved efficent for cow tie-ups, and for the hay fork typically mounted at the ridge... hay could be carried to the many mows all along one side (typically the north side, which kept it cooler in summer), while the cows were lined along the south side (keeping them warmer in winter).

Expansion comes up in many readings as a shortcomming of the English barn design. The English barn was typically a smaller barn for a homesteader/ subsistence farm and worked well for early New Englanders. But as America grew after the Civil War, so did the dairy industry.

I can reference some books if you're interested.

I'm interested to hear that the English Barn became the style of choice in your area. Maybe smaller operations drove this. Was livestock big business in those parts??

Don Perkins
Member, TFG

to know the trees...