This barn is part of the Charles D. Wheeler barn complex. From the exterior, it appears to be a traditional English bank barn design. The upper level was a hay barn and lower level used for horses. The barn does not appear in the illustration in J.W. Lewis’s 1881 History of Litchfield County.
A peak-roofed barn, with overhanging eaves, oriented with the gables to the north and south. Double rolling barn doors are centered on the west façade. The building stands on a fieldstone foundation, which adjusts in height to the sloping eastward grade so that it is about 4 feet tall at the east end. The south gable end is lit by two six-pane sash at the main level and a third sash center at the loft level above.
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.
Other materials: Vertical board (tongue and groove). Other roof materials: Raised seam. Style: Vernacular bank barn.
This barn is the southernmost of a three-barn complex that fronts the east side of Hutchinson Parkway. The Charles D. Wheeler house stands across the street to the west. The barns stand about 12 feet apart. The site slopes to the east and south. A setting of open fields.
Litchfield Tax Assessor Records
Interview with Harvey Hubbell 9/07
Clark’s Map of Litchfield County, 1859
J.W. Lewis, History of Litchfield County, 1881
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.