Building Name (Common)Ragland Farm
Building Name (Historic)Benjamin Stiles Barn
Address1127 Main Street North (Rte 6)
This is a 1 ½ story, three-bay, side- or eave-entry bank barn with a gable-roofed addition. The barn faces approximately east with its ridge line running north-south. The main entrance, on the east eave-side, is a pair of hinged doors in the center bay with a projecting hood above. In the north bay, right of the hinged doors, is a pass-through door. The south bay is blank. The one-story gable-roofed addition projects off the northern-most corner of the north bay on the east eave-facade.
The south gable-end has a basement level open at a lower grade, with an interior sliding door and a hood above. The main level is blank. Above the dropped girt line siding divide on the south gable-end is a fixed six-paned window centered in the attic gable.
The west eave-side appears to have a pair of hinged doors centered on the facade, opening to grade at the main level. The remaining bays are blank. There is a series of single paned windows on the basement level of the west eave-facade in the un-mortared field stone foundation. The north gable-end has a fixed six-pane window centered high in the attic gable.
The gable-roofed addition has two pass-through doors in the east gable-facade.
The barn has vertical siding that is painted red with a wood shingled roof and an un-mortared fieldstone foundation.
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.
This building is one of the oldest barns still standing in the state. While it has been thoroughly reworked over its long lifetime the Stiles barn still retains many of the characteristics that one would expect to see from a Colonial barn. This history is made all the more potent by the barn's siting near an 18th century Stiles house and the fact that it remains on a farm still worked by descendants of the builder.