Barn Record East Granby

Building Name (Common)
Nathaniel Mather Jr. House
Building Name (Historic)
Nathaniel Mather Jr. House
62 Rainbow Road (Rte 20), East Granby


Historic Significance

Architectural Description:

This is a L-shaped barn complex comprising of the main 1 ½- story eave-entry barn with its east eave-side intersected by a 1 ½ -story gable-roof barn and a 1- story gable-roof addition on its south gable-side. The north gable-side and the east eave-side of the main barn face Rainbow Road while the ridge line runs north-south at an angle to the Road. The main façade of the barn complex is the west eave-façade of the main barn with the main entrance towards the south through a pair of double-height hinged wagon doors with blacksmith hardware. A four-pane window insert can be seen towards the south of the main entrance. The south gable-side of the main barn has a 1- story gable-roof addition towards the west and a square window towards the east. A similar square window can be seen on the south gable-side just below the apex of the roof. The east eave-side of the main barn has an entrance at the center through a pair of hinged wagon doors with blacksmith hardware. A six-pane stable window can be seen towards the south on the east eave-side while a paired six-pane stable window can be seen centered above the wagon door entrance. The 1 ½-story intersecting gable-roof is towards the north on the east eave-side with its north eave-side flush with the north gable-side of the main barn. The combined north-side of the barn complex has at least seven six-pane stable windows equally spaced at the first floor level. A hinged hay door can be seen centered on the north eave-side of the intersecting gable-roof at the second floor level.   

The wooden frame of the barn complex is supported on concrete foundation and has red painted horizontal clap board siding walls with white corner boards. The barn complex has asphalt shingle roofing.

Historical Significance:

The property, including the circa 1785 Greek/Colonial Revival main residence and the two barns, is contributing to East Granby historic district. [NR]

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.

Field Notes

The barn is visible from the road and not accessible to the public. It is in a commercial area and the barn and house are currently vacant. It is likely it will be converted to commercial use. Built in the late 1800's with concrete and clapboard with a post and beam frame. The gabled roof has asphalt shingles. Typology is English. The original use is not know but it was converted to a stable with stalls on both sides of a wagon floor in the 1970's. A fourth bay and a "shop" was added later probably in the same era. The shop is on the east side.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The 0.9 acres property is located in East Granby Historic District towards the west of Rainbow Road. It is situated in a mixed use area with residential and commercial units. A commercial complex can be seen towards the north and north-west while dense woodland surrounds the property on its west and the south. 

The barn is towards the northern corner of the property with the circa 1785 Colonial/Greek revival main residence towards its south-east. Clusters of trees separate the barn from the main residence and the road. Dense woodland can be seen forming the southern edge of the property.

Note: The barns are associated with 122 Rainbow Road.

The East Granby Historic District encompasses a large rural residential/agricultural area (approximately two square miles) which extends from the Suffield town line on the north to about one mile below the East Granby town center. It is located on a broad open plain of rolling farmland on the east side of the Talcott Range, a ridgeline that divides the town almost in half. The district contains a large number of historic farmsteads, along with individual houses, strung out along three principal north-south streets: North Main, South Main, and East streets. At the town center, it includes Route 20, known as Rainbow Road, and School Street run from east to west. [NR]

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions



Date Compiled


Compiled By

T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust


Photographs and field-notes provided by – J.Ward Mathis

Additional photographs by balalalu on Flickr: - accessed 4/20/2012.

East Granby Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 88001318 NRIS, National Park Service, 1988.

Information retrieved on September 15th, 2010 from website

GIS Map information retrieved on September 15th, 2010 from website

Sexton, James, PhD; Survey Narrative of the Connecticut Barn, Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Hamden, CT, 2005,
Visser, Thomas D.,Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, University Press of New England, 1997.

PhotosClick on image to view full file