This is a 1 ½ story three-bay, side- or eave-entry bank barn with the main eave-facade facing north and the ridge line running north-south. The main entry, on the north eave-facade, is a pair of tall hinged doors in the center bay. There is a weather door in the western-most, or right, hinged door. The west bay on the north eave-facade has a smaller pair of hinged doors. The east bay appears blank. The main floor of the east gable-facade is blank and the basement level is open and supported on brick pillars. The east and center bays on the south eave-facade are missing their sheathing. The west bay is blank. In the south corner of the west gable-facade has an opening where the sheathing has been removed from the basement level. Centered in the attic gable of the west gable-facade is a four-over-four fanlight. The barn has vertical siding that is painted white with remnants of the original un-mortared fieldstone foundation and newly built brick piers. The roof has asphalt shingles with a deep overhang and frieze on all four facades.
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.
Listed on the State Register of Historic Places 3/05/2014."The barn represents a time long gone. A lot of what daily farm life really looked like in the mid 1800's has been lost, especially it's beautiful farm buildings and farm equipment. With this loss, the memories of past generations in Haddam are fading away. The residence was completed in 1841. I understand that the barn was raised at the same time. Mr. Matthews, a well known local timber framer told me that he thinks that the barn is probably even older and had been moved to its current location around 1840. It is a mortise and tenon construct with pegs and at several junctures iron rods and bolts have been placed to secure large overlap joints in the vertical chestnut beams. The barn is 40 feet long and 30 feet wide, the height I suspect is at least 35 feet. We do have many white oak beams left over. My grandfather purchased the property in 1908, renovated the house for two years and then married my Grandmother Mable Clark in 1910. The home has been in my family ever since. Once when I was working at night the lamps were on and my mother said it made her happy in that it reminded her of her dad that would carry an oil lamp into the barn to tend to the 13 dairy cattle that he milked for his Higganum Dairy Company, I still have several pint bottles bearing that inscription. This barn is an integral part of the house. A home is more with a barn. We are only up the hill from Higganum Center. The house is a well known structure throughout the town. Higganum, being an old Industrial village with a massive amount of water power, three large brooks, there was a lot of manufacturing of farm implements and supporting industries."– Clark Gardner "The barn is close to Route 154 (Saybrook Road), a heavily traveled, historic road between Middletown and Old Saybrook. The Haddam/Higganum portion of the road has been designated as a scenic highway. Properties like Mr. Gardner's add to that attraction. The property is just up the road from the Thankful Arnold House, the Haddam Historical Society and other historic attractions. Route 154 in Haddam is line with 18th and `19th century homes."– James F. Spallone "The barn at the Orrin Freeman House has been identified by the Haddam Historical Society as a fine example of an early English style barn. Set behind the majestic Orrin Freeman House the barn features a three-bay floor plan with central hinged doors opening to a historic threshing floor. The exterior is sheathed with vertically installed rough-sawn wide boards, while a second set of smaller hinged doors on the north-bay feature smaller vertical planks. The building rest on a granite foundation. The barn most likely dates from the first half of the 19th century and is clearly show in the 1881 birds-eye view map of Higganum. Orrin Freeman who built the house in 1841 was a farmer and operated the largest lumber mill in Middlesex County." – Elizabeth Hart Malloy Recipient of 2010 Barns Grant
“The barn is close to Route 154 (Saybrook Road), a heavily traveled, historic road between Middletown and Old Saybrook. The Haddam/Higganum portion of the road has been designated as a scenic highway. Properties like Mr. Gardner’s add to that attraction. The property is just up the road from the Thankful Arnold House, the Haddam Historical Society and other historic attractions. Route 154 in Haddam is line with 18th and `19th century homes.”– James F. Spallo
S. Lessard and T. Levine, reviewed by CT Trust
Photographs by Clark Gardner (firstname.lastname@example.org). – 9/29/2010
Field Notes by Clark Gardner (email@example.com), Elizabeth Hart Malloy, and James F. Spallone.
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.