Barn Record Westbrook

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Building Name (Common)
Silas Austin Post Homestead
Building Name (Historic)
Silas Austin Post Homestead
Address
952 Pond Meadow Road, Westbrook
Typology
Overview

Designations

n/a

Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a three-unit U-shaped barn complex towards the east of Pond Meadow Road consisting of a three-bay eave-entry main bank barn with two gable-roof additions on its south eave-side; Addition I towards the east and Addition II towards the west. The ridge line of the main barn runs east-west perpendicular to the road while those of the gable-roofed additions run north-south, parallel to each other and to the road.

Main barn:

This is a 1 ½ - story three-bay eave-entry bank barn. The west gable-end of the barn faces Pond Meadow Road while the ridge line runs east-west perpendicular to the road. The three-bay north eave-side of the barn is the main façade with the main entrance centered in the middle bay through a pair of double-height exterior-hung X-braced sliding wagon doors with a yoke adorning the wall above it. Each of the two flanking bays of the main north eave-facade has a six-pane window insert at the center. The first bay from the east also has a half-height hinged animal door near the grade level, off-centered towards the west . The grade level along the main north eave-façade of the barn gradually declines towards the east revealing the stone masonry wall of the bank level which has a four-pane window. The grade level drops along the east gable-end of the barn revealing the stone masonry of the bank level. The first floor level of the east gable-end has two pairs of closely spaced six-pane windows, one pair each towards either side. The gable attic is separated from the rest of the gable-end by a distinct dropped girt siding divide line and is devoid of any openings. The south eave-side of the barn has an open middle bay at the bank level with the upper corners chamfered at an angle of forty-five degrees while two closely spaced six-pane windows can be centered at the first floor level. The south eave-side of the main barn has the gable-roof addition Arm-I towards the east and the second gable-roof addition, Arm-II towards the west.

The wooden frame of the barn is supported on cement mortared stone masonry wall. The barn has asphalt shingles roofing and red painted vertical siding walls with white corner boards.

Addition I:

This is a 1 ½- story gable-entry barn sited on the low grade level along the east gable-end of the main barn. The north gable-end of Addition I is its main façade with the main entrance at the center through an exterior-hung sliding pass-through door. The gable attic is separated from the rest of the gable-end by a distinct dropped girt siding divide line and has a six-pane window at the center. The east eave-side gradually declines towards the south revealing the field stone masonry foundation while the rest of the eave-side is blank. The south gable-end of has a six-pane window centered in the gable attic and two four-pane square windows at the first floor level, one each towards either side.

The wooden frame of the barn is supported on fieldstone masonry wall. The barn has asphalt shingles roofing and red painted vertical siding walls with white corner boards.

Addition II:

This is a 1 ½ - story gable-roof bank barn with its north gable-end attached to the south eave-side of the main barn towards the west. The bank level of the east eave-side of Addition II has three open bays with exposed post-and-beam while the first floor level has two eight-pane vertical windows just below the eave-level. The grade level along the south gable-end of Addition II declines towards the east to form the bank level along the east eave-side; exposing the field stone masonry foundation of the barn that continues east to form the retaining wall. The south gable-end of Arm-II has four closely spaced two-pane windows just below the apex of the roof.

The wooden frame of the barn is supported on field stone masonry wall. The barn has asphalt shingles roofing and red painted vertical siding walls.   


Historical significance:

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 19th century saw the introduction of a basement under the barn to allow for the easy collection and storage of a winter’s worth of manure from the animals sheltered within the building. The bank barn is characterized by the location of its main floor above grade, either through building into a hillside or by raising the building on a foundation. This innovation, aided by the introduction of windows for light and ventilation, would eventually be joined by the introduction of space to shelter more animals under the main floor of the barn.

Field Notes

Silas Austin Post Homestead - father of 4 sons who had farms in the area, including 563 East Pond Meadow, the Joseph Church Post Farmstead, now Maple Breeze Farm (source: John and Bonnie Hall)

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)


Exterior Visible from Public Road?

Yes

Demolished

No

Location Integrity

Unknown

Environment

Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The 53.8 acres parcel, Property ID: 146/009 and Account number – M0218200_1, is located towards the east of Pond Meadow Road. The property is situated in a sparsely populated residential area of rural character with individual plots separated by dense woodland. Residential plots can be seen towards the north and the west of the property across the road while dense woodland covers the area towards south. Otrins Pond is located towards the northeast of the property while farm land surrounded by dense woodland can be seen towards the east.

The three-unit inverted U-shaped barn complex is located along the western edge of the property abutting to Pond Meadow Road. The ridge line of the main barn runs east-west perpendicular to the road. The circa 1850 colonial main residence of the property is located towards the north of the barn complex with a rectangular swimming pool towards its immediate northeast. The property has a garden with stone walls and open land towards the east of the main residence with dense woodland towards the south. Vincent Pond is located in the northeast corner of the property. 

Typology & Materials

Building Typology

Materials


Structural System

Roof materials


Roof type


Approximate Dimensions

Barn: 1260 Sqft, Circa 1900; Barn: 600 Sqft, Circa 1900; Barn: 560 Sqft, Circa 1900; Pool: 1000 Sqft, Circa 1985;

Source

Date Compiled

06/09/2011

Compiled By

T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust

Sources

Field notes and photographs provided by: Meg Parulis, 09/10/2010

Assessors’ records retrieved on June 9th, 2011 from website http://host.appgeo.com/WestbrookCT/PropertyRecordCard.ashx.

GIS information retrieved on June 9th, 2011 from website http://host.appgeo.com/WestbrookCT/Map.aspx .

Photograph/Information retrieved on June 9th, 2011 from website http://www.google.com

Photograph/Information retrieved on June 9th, 2011 from website http://www.bing.com.

Photograph/Information retrieved on June 9th, 2011 from website http://www.zillow.com.

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.

PhotosClick on image to view full file