Barn I is the main barn, a tall 1 1/2-story gambrel-roofed bank barn structure with its ridge-line oriented northwest to southeast. For descriptive purposes, the up-hill eave-side will be considered the south.
The south eave-side, from right (east) to left, has as the end bay an addition built circa 1910, with a pair of tall hinged barn doors opening out. To the left is a three-bay English barn structure, which was the earliest to be built. It has a pair of sliding barn doors in the center bay; there is a hinged weather door in the left leaf. The next bay toward the left has a six-pane stable-type window located just above the floor level at the right edge of the bay. Vertical siding sheathes these four bays, which are constructed with post and beam timber framing. Further to the left, there is an addition approximately 30 feet long aligned with the walls and roof of the first section, but constructed with the 20th-century balloon framing technique. Siding on this portion is wood horizontal lap siding.
The west gable-end of the main structure is the end wall of the balloon-framed structure and has a projecting hay hood at the roof line. A large vertical lift door gives access to the hay mow. Siding is horizontal lap siding. The grade slopes down along the gable-end and a 1-story concrete block masonry milk room addition with a shed roof is attached at the west gable-end aligning with the north wall. This has three double hung windows in the west eave-side wall (new replacement sash). A small shed-roofed addition aligns with the south wall and opens a few steps below the main level elevation. It has shingle siding, a pass-through door in its south side, and there is a concrete masonry chimney rising through the shed roof and abutting the upper gable-end wall to terminate above the roof line.
The north eave-side prior to 2008 had a basement ground-level stable area for cows and horses, converted to a gift shop space. Near the left (east) end was an overhead door, to its right a row of four six-pane stable windows, then a six-over-six double hung window, a pair of pass-through doors, then 12 six-over-six double hung windows and at the right corner a pass-through door. In the wall of the main level, there is a two-pane stable-type window near the center of the timber-framed portion and at the extreme right corner a similar window. The ground level has been renovated to create a wine tasting room. The left (east) portion has a series of steel and glass overhead doors opening to a trellised stone patio. At the center is a pair of glass entry doors and to the right a long horizontal projected bay window forms a vitrine for display. Siding is wood shingles.
The east gable-end has a grade sloping up toward the south and a stepped concrete foundation visible at the left (south) corner. Toward the right (north) are two window openings, formerly containing a pair and a triple panel of six-pane stable windows. Following renovation, these are two pairs of large awning windows. Below the eave line, a slight change of plane indicates a dropped girt line.
The gambrel roof has an overhang at the eaves and rakes, with boxed sloped soffits. Roofing is asphalt shingles.
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.
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.
This barn combines an unusual timber-framed gambrel structure with a continuation of the same volume constructed with sawn dimension lumber trusses each forming the vertical wall plane and the gambrel shape, rising from both sides to meet at the ridge-line.
Before the 1880s, cheese and butter making were usually done on the farm. The milk room or dairy room was often located in an ell between the kitchen and the woodshed. Some farms had separate milk rooms and dairy rooms. In the milk room, the fresh milk was poured into shallow pans placed on shelves or racks. After the cream rose to the surface, it was skimmed off the milk and then churned to make butter. Cooperative creameries were being established throughout New England in the 1880s. Usually located next to the railroad line in villages, these creameries processed the milk of dozens of farmers, who shipped the liquid from the farm to the creamery by wagon in metal cans.
Single-story milk houses are typically attached to [20th-century] ground-level stable barns for preparation of the milk to be sent to the creamery. Designed to comply with state and local ordinances intended to minimize the potential for milk contamination, many are now fitted with large, electrically cooled stainless steel bulk storage tanks.
Listed on the State Register of Historic Places 2/06/2013 This barn provides a good example of how different framing styles can be joined together in a seamless way as well as a prime opportunity to compare the two basic approaches to framing a barn. The main barn is one of an extensive complex of agricultural structures on multiple sites. Note: some photographs labeled as 266 Walnut Tree Hill Road or 266 Israel Hill Road (alternate street name). Main dairy barn convered to wine tasting room in 2008. Historical information from Jones Family Farm: Philip James Jones, a Welsh-Irish immigrant, began working his land in the White Hills of Shelton in the 1850s. He was a butcher and raised sheep and cattle. From his horse-drawn cart, he sold meat, potatoes, and eggs in the city of Derby. His advice still guides the Jones family farmers. In the late 1800s, his son and grandson established a dairy farm, Broad Acres Farm, with 30 cows and 300 acres. After World War II, fourth generation, Philip and Elisabeth Jones began inviting friends to harvest their own Christmas trees on the family's dairy farm. Families had so much fun that more trees were planted and the dairy business was discontinued in 1966. Today, fifth generation Will, Terry, and Jean Jones, manage the farm along with the sixth generation, Jamie and Christiana Jones. They look after 400 acres of strawberries, blueberries, pumpkins and Christmas trees. Jamie planted vineyards and established the Jones Winery in 2004.
The Jones Family Farm consists of 400 acres of farmland in several locations, and Jones family members own several residential properties. The original family homestead with houses and barns is located on the west side of Walnut Tree Hill Road (Israel Hill Road) to the south of Route 110 (Leavenworth Road) and extends west to Eagle Drive, where there is another complex of barns. Additional acreage is east of Walnut Tree Hill Road, and a third location is on the west side of Beardsley Road, north of Route 110. Much of the land is cultivated as a Christmas tree farm. Additional acreage grows strawberries, blueberries, and pumpkins. At the homestead, a hilltop site looking east over the valley of Means Brook, a 2 1/2-story 19th-century home is sited facing east toward the road. At the rear an addition consists of an 18th-century structure which was moved to this location from a spot further west upslope. The primary barn (Barn I) is a gambrel bank barn with a milk-room addition at its north end, located to the southwest of the house. A second house is east of the barn, and is now used for cooking classes. A third house, a 20th-century ranch-style building, is north of the main house. West of Barn I are a 1 1/2-story gable-roofed shed (Barn II) formerly used for butchering, with a 1-story addition formerly for calving. North of this is a 1 1/2-story gable-roofed ice house (Barn III) which functioned as the generator shed from the 1940s on. West of these is a root cellar with a shed above (Barn IV). North of this grouping is 1 1/2-story gable-roofed shed with a shed-roofed addition at the west gable-end (Barn V), recently converted to office space. Further to the west a series of mid-20th-century open wagon sheds are ranged to form a triangular farmyard, and west of these are additional 20th-century equipment and storage buildings. At the extreme western border of this 127-acre parcel, along the town line with Monroe, is a cul-de-sac road, Eagle Drive, where there is a row of two long 1 1/2-story barns of the ground level stable barn type. The southernmost is a gable-roofed structure (Barn VI), the northern is gambrel-roofed with a row of five dormer windows in the roof (Barn VII). To the north of these is a flat-roofed L-shaped 1-story structure.
86 feet x 34.6 feet
Charlotte Hitchcock, reviewed by CT Trust
Photographs by James Sexton, Todd Levine, 09/21/2006. Additional photography by C. Hitchcock, 10/14/2011.
City of Shelton Assessors Records and GIS Viewer http://shelton.mapxpress.net/
Parcel ID: MBL : 149.-16 (127 acres west of Walnut Tree Hill Rd), -17 (80 acres east of Walnut Tree Hill Rd)
Aerial views from:
http://www.bing.com/maps/ accessed 10/14/2011.
Jones Family Farm web site:
Interview with Jean Jones, 10/14/2011.
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, 213 pages.