This 2 ½ story side or eave-entry barn has a pair of hinged doors in the center bay of its main facade facing southwest. The right hinged door has a weather door. There is a pass-through door on the east-end of the main facade. Located between the hinged doors and the pass-through door is a fixed six-pane window. The east gable-end has two siding divides. One is at the eave and the other is half way between the grade and the eave. There is also a six-light stable window below the lower siding divide. The barn has vertical flush-board siding with its center bay and pass-through door painted red. The roof has asphalt shingles and a horizontal fascia board on the eave-ends.
The oldest barns still found in the state are called the “English Barn,” “side-entry barn,” “eave entry,” or a 30 x 40. They are simple buildings with rectangular plan, pitched gable roof, and a door or doors located on one or both of the eave sides of the building based on the grain warehouses of the English colonists’ homeland. The name “30 by 40” originates from its size (in feet), which was large enough for 1 family and could service about 100 acres. The multi-purpose use of the English barn is reflected by the building’s construction in three distinct bays - one for each use. The middle bay was used for threshing, which is separating the seed from the stalk in wheat and oat by beating the stalks with a flail. The flanking bays would be for animals and hay storage.
The Chaplin Historic District is an entire village built between 1815 and 1840, standing today in complete integrity, free of intrusions. The church, tavern, Town Hall, store and nineteen houses in late Federal and early Greek Revival styles provide a unique example of the architecture and ambience of a New England village - entirely constructed in a compressed period of time a century and a half ago, and unaltered since that time.
Connecticut has many villages which are older than Chaplin and many towns founded earlier than Chaplin in which can be traced continuing architectural and community developments from a century or more before through a century or more after the fabric demonstrated by Chaplin. Chaplin is unique because it was created on site where before there had been no settlement, was created complete in a brief span of time, and subsequently has experienced no development or changes. Chaplin provides a unique record of the architecture and community planning of the 1820’s and 1830’s (Ransom, p. 7).
T. Levine and S. Lessard, reviewed by CT Trust
Photographs and Field Notes by Catherine Lynch and Hill Bullard 11/25/2009.
Town of Chaplin Assessor’s Records: (Barn 840 sq. feet, Book 88 Page 510,
Account Number: P000805, MBLU : 75/22 )
Ransom, David, Chaplin National Register Historic District Nomination, # 78002856, National Park Service, 10/11/1978.
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.
Works Progress Administration Writers’ Project, Architectural Survey, Census of Old Buildings, Reference Group 33, Box 226 “Bolton-Chaplin,” Hartford: Connecticut State Library Archives.