Barn Record Avon

Building Name (Common)
Cold Spring Farm - Tommie Thompson's Barn
Building Name (Historic)
Ephraim Woodford Farm
727 West Avon Road (Rte 167), Avon


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

The agricultural buildings on this historic farmstead consist of one main 2 ½-story eave-entry barn with a gable-roof and several additions, and a carriage house which is connected by a garage and rear ell to the main house.  Several additional small agricultural sheds are also present on the property.  The property is located within the elbow of the right-angle turn West Avon Road (CT Route-167) makes to the immediate southeast of this property.  The farmstead is listed as a contributing resource in the Pine Grove Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The main barn on this site is a large 2 ½-story eave-entry barn with a gable-roof.  This barn has two noticeable additions: a full-length 1 ½-story shed-roof addition stretching along the main barn’s north eave-side (Addition I) and a partial-width 1-story shed-roof addition along the main barn’s west gable-end (Addition II).  The primary façade of this barn is the south eave-side, which faces West Avon Road.  The main entries on this side consist of several openings: The west half of the first story is occupied by a pair of over-size four-panel wooden sliding doors, mounted on overhead tracks.  The eastern half contains a single four-panel wood door toward the center of the structure, and a pair of unified six-pane windows with trim toward the southeast corner.  The second-story is blank on this side.

The east gable-end is faced with mortared fieldstone along its length on the first story.  The southern half of this story contains a pass-through door, while the northern half a vertical window opening.  The second story is blank.  The gable-attic contains a six-pane window, centered beneath the roof ridgeline.

The north eave-side contains Addition I, a 1 ½-story full-length shed-roof addition.  This addition projects to the north from the main barn.  The roof slope is slightly less than that of the main barn, creating a catslide style roofline on the north face of this barn.  The east gable-end of Addition I contains a standard-size sliding door of wood construction mounted on an overhead track in its southern half.  A six-pane window with trim is located above this door, within the gable-attic of the addition.  The north eave-side of Addition I contains a single over-width sliding door of wood plank construction, located slightly off-center to the west.  No window openings are apparent.  The west gable-end of this addition is blank.

Addition II is a partial-width 1-story shed-roof structure, which attaches to the main barn’s west gable-end.  The north gable-end and west eave-side are both blank.  The south gable-end of this addition contains a single wood-plank pass-through door at the barn corner and a six-pane window with trim at the southwest corner.

The exterior of this barn and both additions is clad in vertical wooden flush-board siding, painted red.  The first-story along the east gable-end is faced with mortared fieldstone along its length.  The roof is covered in dark gray shingles.  An iron weathervane with rooster arrow is centered atop the roof ridgeline.

The carriage house on this site is situated just to the northeast of the main barn, oriented perpendicular to both the main barn and West Avon Road (to the south).  The carriage house is the farthest west in a series of connected structures, which include (from east to west): main house, ell-addition, garage, carriage house.  The carriage house is the only structure of this group oriented perpendicular.  It is 1 ½-stories in height, and the primary façade is the south gable-end.

The main entry on the south gable-end consists of a pair of oversize paneled wooden sliding doors, mounted on an upper track, stretching the full-width of this gable-end.  Centered over this pair of doors is a smaller square paneled hay door, also mounted on an upper track.  A rectangular twelve-pane window is centered over this door, beneath the roof ridgeline within the gable-attic.  The west eave-side contains two symmetrically-placed double-hung four-pane windows with trim on the first-story.  A pair of twelve-pane windows are situated beneath the roof ridgeline in the southern half of this eave-side. 

The north gable-end is a near mirror image of the south gable-end.  The first-story contains a pair of oversize paneled wooden sliding doors, mounted on an upper track, stretching the full-width.  The second story contains a small square sliding hay door, also mounted on an upper track.  A window exists beneath the roof ridgeline, centered, which contains six panes.  The east eave-side, which adjoins the garage and connected house, appears to be blank. 

The exterior of this carriage house is faced in narrow vertical wooden flush-board siding, painted white.  Door and window trim is painted a maroon color.  The roof is covered in dark gray asphalt shingles. 

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.

Until the 1830s, the horses used for riding and driving carriages were often kept in the main barn along with the other farm animals. By the 1850s, some New England farmers built separate horse stables and carriage houses. Early carriage houses were built just to shelter a carriage and perhaps a sleigh, but no horses. The pre-cursor to the twentieth-century garage, these outbuildings are distinguished by their large hinged doors, few windows, and proximity to the dooryard.

The combined horse stable and carriage house continued to be a common farm building through the second half of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, until automobiles became common. Elaborate carriage houses were also associated with gentlemen farms and country estates of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Historical background:

The Ephraim Woodford Farm is listed as a contributing resource in the Pine Grove Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.  See Sources for a link to the official National Register nomination.

Adjacent to the school across West Avon Road is the Ephraim Woodford
Farm. The main complex of buildings consists of a l 1/2-story Greek
Revival house, connecting with an ell, carriage shed, and barn.
Another larger barn, set on a high brownstone foundation, stands
south and west of the house. There are several smaller outbuildings
north of the house, which is a rather diluted Greek Revival design
with small, square windows set in its wide, flat frieze; a deeply-recessed,
flush-boarded pediment formed by the gable end is its sole
allusion to classicism. Until recently, chickens and dairy cows were
kept, but now, though intact, the farm is inactive.

Epraim Woodford Farm:(727 West Avon Road): C. 1843, Greek Revival,
1 1/2-story, clapboarded farmhouse with a late 19th-century veranda on the
south (entrance) wall, a wide frieze with 3-over-3 windows and a flushboarded
gable end pediment. 1-story contemporaneous ell to rear, connecting
with a garage/carriage shed and a 2-story barn. Elsewhere, one 19th-century
barn, 2 stories on a brownstone foundation, southwest of the house, 1-
story chicken coop north of the house (Zimmerman, Section 7).

Field Notes

Built by Ephraim Woodford, c.1843, the farm still overlooks the wide fields of the 18th century Sunrise Farm to the east and of the 1865 one-room Pine Grove Schoolhouse to the south. Named for the spring found in the north-west portion of the original 40 acres, the property consists now of about 1 1/4 acres. Located in the Pine Grove Historic District, Cold Spring Farm was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. The c. 1843 house is one and one-half stories in the Greek Revival-style, with a one-story kitchen-ell directly to the rear. Attached to this ell is a garage and connected to this is a two-story white barn with a hay loft. This barn has wide, double doors on both the front and the rear of the building. Horses would pull the farm wagon through the rear door, where they were unhitched, and then exited through the front doors. The second floor was a hayloft. The detached, c. 1850, red dairy barn is set on a high brownstone and mortar foundation. It is two stories at the front with an attached lean-to at the rear, forming a salt-box end. Called an English-style barn because the large doors are found on the long side of the structure under the eaves, it was built with post and beam construction. White wash still clings to the beams in the lower floor. This is where the dairy cows and the horses were kept. A round silo once stood on the east side of the barn where the rock and mortar foundation can still be found.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity

Original Site


Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

This farm is located within the L-shaped curve that West Avon Road makes in the front yard of this property.  The façade of the house faces the road to the east, but just south of this point the road curves from running north-south to east-west, thence passing along the southern boundary of this property.  Both the barn and carriage house facades face south, toward the east-west portion of the road.  An L-shaped driveway runs through this property, running along the south side of the connected house, to a point where it widens in front of the garage and carriage house, then turns due south to reconnect with West Avon Road.  This creates a square between the road and driveway, each on two sides.  The box is primarily a grassy lawn with scattered trees.  The lawn continues across the remainder of the property, surround both the house and barn, also dotted with scattered trees.  Three small shed buildings are located in the vicinity of the main barn.  Across West Avon Road to the east of the house is a large agricultural field.  West Avon Road is lined with intermixed dwellings and unimproved land, with occasional scattered farms also present in the immediate area.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

Frame Utility Shed 12 x 20 240 square feet, Flat barn 2,236 square feet


Date Compiled


Compiled By

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


Field notes (3/24/2011) and photographs by Liz Neff.

1978 photograph by Sarah Zimmerman.

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 Avon, CT, retrieved on June 3, 2011 from website

Avon Assessor’s Records - Avon Assessor’s Office Real Estate Property Information online -

Zimmerman, Sarah, (Avon) “Pine Grove National Register District,” Nomination Form No. 80004066, 1980.  National Park Service.  Available from the Web:

PhotosClick on image to view full file