Snow’s Dairy Barn is a two-and-a-half-story gambrel-roofed Ground Level Stable Barn with wide overhangs at the flared eaves and rake. The roof is oriented with the ridge set perpendicular to the road. It is clad in asphalt shingles and a series of four steel ventilators line the ridge. The exterior is clapboard on the second story and concrete block on the first story, which is set at grade. The entire structure rests on a concrete foundation (Rossano & Baldwin, 1996).
This style became extremely popular by the mid-twentieth century in New England due to the sanitary measures afforded by the design which allowed for ventilation and a reduction in dust. The interior has a concrete floor with metal stanchions lining the side walls. The north and south walls retains apparatus for dairy production but is currently not used. The enclosed second story is used as a hay mow, accessed by gable end doors and internal ladder holes.
On the southern elevation there is a small double window set in the gable end. Full-height double sliding doors are set centrally on the ground story are flanked by small, six-light, square casements. The concrete block is set in a “quoined” pattern surrounding all of the openings on the ground story. On the western elevation there is a single story, gambrel ell set with a variety of openings. The eastern elevation has a second gable-roofed ell as well as a gable-roofed dormer with flared eaves.
The barn has been painted white with contrasting red details including the name of the farm across the southern elevation.
By the early 20th century agricultural engineers developed a new approach to dairy barn design: the ground-level stable barn, to reduce the spread of tuberculosis bacteria by improving ventilation, lighting, and reducing the airborne dust of manure. A concrete slab typically serves as the floor for the cow stables. Many farmers converted manure basements in older barns into ground-level stables with concrete floors. Some older barns were jacked up and set on new first stories to allow sufficient headroom. With the stables occupying the entire first story, the space above serves as a hayloft. By the 1920s most ground-level stable barns were being constructed with lightweight balloon frames using two-by-fours or two-by-sixes for most of the timbers. Novelty or tongue-and-groove beveled siding is common on the walls, although asbestos cement shingles also were a popular sheathing. Some barns have concrete for the first-story walls, either poured in place or built up out of blocks. The gambrel roof design was universally accepted as it enclosed a much greater volume than a gable roof did, and its shape could be formed with trusses.
Snow’s Barn is one of the few iconic rural structures left in Easton. Due to its visibility at a bend in the scenic Sport Hill Road central corridor, it has a high degree of significance for passer by. Many photographic references attest to its importance as a primary element in the Town’s historical identity as a formerly rural farming community. The barn retains a very high degree of integrity and is an excellent example of its type - Ground-Level Stable Barn. Due to its age, this type of barn is only recently considered to be historic by many. As a result, many similar structures have been lost throughout the state. This barn represents twentieth century farming in Easton and this part of the state.
Gambrel roofed 20th century barn -
From the Snow's Farm website
The dairy barn is situated on upland terrace, roughly 130 feet east of Sport Hill Road. A working cattle pen surrounds the front and north sides of the structure. Sixty feet east of the dairy barn, a matching early 20th century barn (38 x 60) faces the road. Scattered houses are visible from the site.
Charlotte Hitchcock - David Silverglade
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.
Easton, CT. 1934. Photograph. CT State Aerial Photographs, Hartford, CT.
Lavin, Lucille, and J. Kania. Phase I Archaeological Reconnaissance Survey of the Proposed Cell Phone Tower Site at 550 Sport Hill Road/Route 59, Easton, Connecticut. Seymour, CT: American Cultural Specialists, LLC. 2001.
Rossano, Geoffrey, and James Baldwin. Historic Resources Inventory Easton: Buildings and Structures, Easton, CT. Hartford CT: Historical Commission, 1996. Print.
Silverglade, David and Joan Kirk. Snow’s Dairy Barn, Treasured Barns of Historic Easton Barn Tour. Easton, CT: Easton Historical Society, 2008. Print.
Sport Hill Road, From Easton Center Road Northerly to Union Cemetery, Route 59. Map. CT State Highway Department. 1938. Print.