This is a 1 ½-story eave-entry tobacco shed towards the east of Main Street. The ridge line of the shed runs north-south parallel to the road. The main façade of the tobacco shed is the four-bay west eave-façade with three main entrances, one each in the first, second and the third bays from the north. Each main entrance to the shed is through a pair of hinged wagon doors. The first bay from the south on the main eave-façade has a secondary entrance towards the north through a hinged pass-through door and a six-pane stable window towards the south. The east four-bay eave-side of the tobacco shed has an entrance towards the southern edge through a hinged wagon door and a window towards its north. The tobacco shed has a system of ventilation through the vertical siding on the eave sides in which alternate boards are hinged along the sides to open like tall narrow doors, each held in place by its own hook.
The wooden frame of the barn has asphalt shingle roofing and red-painted vertical siding with white corner boards.
The tobacco barn, or shed as it is called in the Connecticut River Valley, is one of the most distinctive of the single-crop barns. They tend to be long, low windowless buildings with pitched roofs. They are characterized by vented sides to regulate air flow and allow harvested tobacco to cure at the appropriate rate. Derived initially from the design of the English barn, the shed is composed of a fixed skeleton consisting of two- or three-aisle bents repeated at intervals of 15 feet to the desired length. The wood-framed bents sit on piers of stone or concrete and the bents are connected by girts and diagonal braces. Typically there are two doors at each end, making the shed a “drive-through,” although some sheds are accessed through doors on the sides. The interior structural framework serves a second purpose in addition to supporting the walls and roof of the building; it provides a framework for the rails used to hang the tobacco as it cures.
Tobacco shed wall ventilation is accomplished with one of four different systems (more than one method may be utilized in a single shed):
a) Vertical slats - siding in which every second board is hinged at the top and tilted out at the bottom by means of a horizontal cleat, that lifts several boards at once, and metal prop hooks to hold the boards in place;
b) Side slats - Vertical siding in which alternate boards are hinged along the sides to open like tall narrow doors, each held in place by its own hook;
c) Less commonly, horizontal siding in which alternate boards are hinged along the top edge and open like long narrow awnings; this system may be employed along the lower edge of the wall in conjunction with vertical or side slats;
d) A series of large doors along one of the long sides of the building with the other sides of the building vented by one or more of the other methods.
e) The tobacco sheds can have additional ventilation through side-pivot awning vents on the gable-ends, which co-exist with one or more of the above four systems of ventilation.
Although some sheds lack roof ventilation, commonly there is either a series of small ventilators at the ridgeline, or a continuous ridge vent formed by raising the roof structure for a width of up to about 24 inches along the ridge. Alternately, rectangular openings in the attic gable-ends may have pivoting shutters.
The shed is significant as an example of a hand-hewn structural post and beam frame in a tobacco shed. The use of hand-hewn post and beams is uncommon in extant tobacco sheds in Connecticut, as many sheds were lost in the Hurricane of 1938 and were rebuilt using sawn lumber and lighter framing. The phenomenon of relocating a barn frame from elsewhere was a common practice, as in this instance. The site gains additional significance from its association with David Taylor, who fought in the Revolutionary War, and with the Dubicki family, immigrants from Eastern Europe in the early 20th century.
Listed on the State Register of Historic Places 10/02/2013. Three pairs of hinged doors have been cut into the long side; traces of single board width hinged vent panels from tobacco curing are visible above the wide doorways and on the opposite side. Notes from Owner: The photos show the outside, and the inside framing. It served as a tobacco barn from probably the 1930’s to the 1950’s. I don’t believe it was originally built for that purpose, as it has 4 bays, and no provisions for doors at the ends. Oral history says that the original barn on the site burned about 1930, and this barn was purchased, disassembled, moved from Portland, and reassembled in South Glastonbury. The framing timbers are numbered, which would seem to support the story. Also, note the severe bowing of some of the timbers. We had it re-roofed last year to stop the water damage from continuing. It had been leaking for many years before we moved in recently.
The 4.37 acres property, property number - 41400268 and property ID - 2442, is located towards the east of Main Street in a predominantly residential area. The property has a relatively narrow frontage to the road, spreading towards the east and south-east. Residential plots, separated by woodland can be seen towards the north, south and west of the property, across Main Street. The area towards the east of the plot is covered by dense woodland.
The tobacco shed is located in the northwest corner of the property with its ridge line running north-south parallel to Main Street. The circa 1750 main residence is located towards west of the shed, abutting to the road. A small gable-roof gable-entry shed, possibly a corn crib, is located towards the immediate east of the shed. The property has a patch of open land along its northern edge while dense woodland covers the area towards its east and southeast.
T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust
Photographs and field notes provided by Lynn Thompson.
Assessors’ records and GIS Map retrieved on February 15th , 2011 from website http://gis.glastonbury-ct.gov/ceo/ and http://ceo.fando.com
GIS information retrieved on February 15th, 2011 from website http://www.crcog.org
Photograph/Information retrieved on February 11th, 2011 from website http://www.google.com
Photograph/Information retrieved on February 11th, 2011 from website http://www.zillow.com
O’Gorman, James F., Connecticut Valley Vernacular: the Vanishing Landscape and Architecture of the New England Tobacco Fields, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002, 144 pages.
Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005, http://www.connecticutbarns.org/history
Visser, Thomas D.,Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England, 1997.