Barn Record Farmington

Building Name (Common)
Holden Barn
Building Name (Historic)
General George Cowles House
130 Main Street (Route 10), Farmington


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 1 ½-story tripartite eave-entry barn with a gable roof.  A full-width shed-roof addition is attached to the south gable-end.  The barn is nearly parallel to Main Street, but the south gable-end actually passes very near to a side street, Winchell Smith Drive.

The primary façade of this barn is the east eave-end, which faces Main Street.  The main entry on this side is a very large oversize sliding door of wooden construction.  It is located slightly off-center to the south, and the track extends to the north.  No other openings are present on this façade.  The north gable-end is blank.  The west eave-end features a similar oversize wooden sliding door to that found on the east eave-side.  This door is located slightly to the south of center and the track extends to the south.  The remainder of this eave-side is blank.  The barn’s attic-gable on the south gable-end is blank.  The shed roof addition extends the full width, with the roof beginning at the main barn’s girt.  The west end and south eave-side are both blank.  The east end has a single full-width opening with no door, and clipped upper corners. 

The exterior walls of the barn and addition are clad in vertical wooden flush-board siding, painted red.  The roof is covered with medium gray wood shingles.  Plants are beginning to grow on the shed roof over the addition.

Historical significance:

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.

Field Notes

'Way separated from the 1804 main house on the property, the 30'W X 32'L English barn was moved in the mid-20th century from another New England state (New Hampshire or Massachusetts)in 1974. (Per current owners) Not much more is known about it except owners have heard it dated c. 1750. Barn, and its attached shed, is visible from Winchell Smith Street as the property is on a corner lot. Siding is vertical wood. Roofs are wood shingle. Set on a concrete foundation. Used currently for storage, it appears in very good shape except for lichen and plants growing on roof. Contributing resource in Farmington Village National and Local Historic District.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features


Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

This barn is situated well away from the large house which fronts Main Street and is associated with it.  The barn is located along the southern edge of the property, right along Winchell Smith Drive.  A line of deciduous and coniferous trees separate the barn from the nearby drive, and a larger grove of trees separates this barn from Main Street.  The house on the property is located to the northeast of the barn, separated by a number of trees and the side lawn.  A small agricultural field is located adjacent to and to the north of the barn.  This field is ringed by coniferous trees to the west and north.  The surroundings streets are lined with dwellings intermixed with small areas of woodland and grass.  Two cemeteries are located near to this barn, a small stone-wall ringed cemetery across Main Street to the northeast of the barn, and a larger cemetery to the northwest of the agricultural field and a baseball diamond.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System


Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

BARN: 960 square feet


Date Compiled


Compiled By

N. Nietering & T. Levine, reviewed by CT Trust


Photographs by Meyer/Macomber and Todd Levine.

Butterfield, Richard D., Thompson, James McA., Farmington National Register Historic District Nomination No. 72001331, National Park Service, 1972.

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, 213 pages.

Map of Farmington, CT, retrieved on April 9, 2011 from website

Farmington Assessor’s Records - online -

PhotosClick on image to view full file