Building Name (Common)Bates-Scofield Homestead Barn
Building Name (Historic)Bates-Scofield Barn
Address45 Old Kings Highway North
This is a 1 ½-story eave-entry, gable-roof barn. The main façade faces east and the ridge-line is parallel to Old Kings Highway North, which at this point runs approximately north to south.
The main entry is to the south of center on the east eave-façade of the barn and consists of a double-leaf exterior-hung sliding door. The entry way is reached by a set of cut stone and granite steps with railings. Above the main entry is a nine-pane transom window with an exterior electrical lamp just above. There are no other features on this façade.
Centered on the north gable-end of the barn is a side-hinged pass-through panel door. This entry is reached by a set of wooden stairs with a railing. To the west of the entry, on the west corner of the north gable-end of the barn is a set of two-over-two double-hung windows. Just above the entry is an exterior electrical lamp. Decorative brackets are just below the eaves on the gable corners. The gable peak of the gable-attic consists of decorative stick work which extends to the roof, protruding from the ridge, forming a decorative finial.
The west eave-side of the barn is attached to the Bates-Scofield house, which now houses the Darien Historical Society. The north half of the west eave-side of the barn is encompassed by the house. The south half of the west eave-side is blank.
The south gable-end of the barn has two six-pane fixed windows with trim in the gable-attic. Just below the eave corners are decorative brackets, and located in the gable peak of the gable-attic is decorative stick work which extends to the roof, and protrudes from the ridge, forming a decorative finial.
The barn is clad in vertical flush-board siding painted beige with beige trim. The roof has overhanging eaves with decorative brackets located below, and is clad in wood shingles. The cut stone foundation is visible on all sides of the barn.
This barn has been moved and attached to the Darien Historical Society. The Historical Society acquired the Bates-Scofield house in the 1960s. The house was moved to this location in 1963, and the barn (original to the Bates-Scofield farmstead) was moved sometime in 2005, to be attached to the building. Originally, this was not a connected barn.
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.
“Establishment of the Ecclesiastical Society pre-dated the Boston Post Road, put through after 1800. Old Kings Highway North is probably the oldest street in the district, and was long known simply as County Road. Brookside Road, originally Gracious Street, is another old road; it adjoins and runs parallel with a brook named Goodwives River, earlier Pine Brook. Further name changes are indicated by an 1893 map that shows Old Kings Highway North as the Old Boston Post Road, and the present Boston Post Road simply as Main Street.”
“The Bates-Scofield Homestead, where the first business meetings of the Middlesex Ecclesiastical Society were held in 1739, is a highly competent restoration, but the house is not on its original site, and does have an extensive wing that was added in recent years.”
-David Ransom, Boston Post Road National Register Historic District Nomination
The building is an interesting example of a barn constructed on the cusp of the scribe- and square-rule techniques. The timbers are clearly cut back to an standard dimension at the joints (square rule) but retain raising numerals (scribe rule). Preliminary results from dendrochronological testing done on the building by the Tree-Ring Laboratory at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory suggest that the timbers for this building were felled early in 1827. (JS 2006)
The building will be reunited with the original farm house, the DHS's Bates-Scofield house. Both will have been moved off their original sites to save them from development. (The house was moved in 1963.) (JS 2006)
This barn is now attached to the Bates-Scofield House that the Darien Historical Society is located in. They use this barn as exhibition space, meeting space, and a resource library. Listed on the Boston Post Road Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. House built c. 1736. (KY 2011)
"The Darien Historical Society, founded in 1953, is the prime resource in the town dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting materials of local historical value and focuses on educating the community about Darien’s heritage. The society operates the eighteenth century Bates-Scofield Homestead museum, the 1827 Scofield Barn exhibition and meeting space and a resource library. There is also a colonial herb garden and children’s garden on the property." -http://historical.darien.org/default.htm