Barn Record Monroe

Building Name (Common)
Building Name (Historic)
21 Fan Hill Road, Monroe


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 1 1/2- story three-bay eave-entry barn with a cross-gable wall-dormer centered on its east eave-side and shed-roof addition towards the south on its west eave-side. The ridge line of the barn runs north-south perpendicular to Church Street but almost parallel to Fan Hill Road. The three-bay east eave-side of the barn facing Fan Hill Road is the main façade with the main entrance centered in the middle bay through a pair of double-height diagonal-board hinged wagon doors with blacksmith hardware and decorative trim. The cross-gable wall-dormer above the main entrance is lined by cornice board with raking detail and has an ocular window just below the apex of the roof. The first bay from the north on the façade has two pass-through doors separated by a six-over-six double-hung sash window with decorative trim. A six-pane window with similar decorative trim can be seen centered between the pass-through door towards the south and the main double-height entrance. The first bay from the south on the façade has two six-over-six double-hung sash windows with decorative trim. The three-bay west eave-side of the barn has an entrance centered in the middle bay through a pair of exterior-hung double-height sliding wagon doors. Exposed field stone masonry foundation can be seen along the west eave-side towards the extreme north.  The first bay from the south has the shed-roof addition with is east eave-side appearing to be flush with the south gable-end of the main barn. The gable roof of the barn has an elaborate cross-gable roof cupola at the center with an arched two-over-two double-hung sash window centered in each side wall.

The wooden frame of the barn is supported on un-coursed un-mortared field-stone masonry foundation. The barn has asphalt shingle roofing and red painted vertical siding with white corner board and trim. 

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.

The proximity of the barn to the main residence, the elaborate trim and the cupola suggest the probable usage of the barn also as a carriage house.

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. Another form of carriage barn, the urban livery stable, served the needs of tradespeople.

Field Notes

Circa 1802 English style barn with front wall dormer. Pegged post & beam construction with vertical siding, three over three windows and asphalt roof shingles. Front doors are hinged and rear doors are sliding. The barn also has a cupola for light and ventilation with windows on four sides. The barn was a hay barn on the second level with horse stalls on the first level, renovated in the 1930s. The barn is 54 feet long and the two main beams are one length from end to end of the barn. Note rough cut roof sheeting used as underlayment for the roof shingles still has tree bark attached. This barn is located in the Monroe Historic District. Contributing resource in the Monroe Center Historic District (barn more so than house): 21 Fan Hill Road, Cape Cod Style residence, Circa 1924; Site of Henry Lewis Home, which got burnt; Old barns. Also contributing resource in the Monroe Center Local Historic District.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The 1.22 acres property, Account number – 07500400 and Map-Block-Lot number - 075 004 00, is a corner plot towards the west of Fan Hill Road and the north of Church Street. The property is contributing to Monroe Center Historic District and is towards the northwest of Monroe Town Green. Monroe Congregational Church is located towards the west, across Fan Hill Road while residential plots can be seen towards the north and the east. Monroe Town Hall is located towards the south of the property, across Church Street.

The barn is located towards the northern edge of the property with its ridge line running north-south, perpendicular to Church Street but almost parallel to Fan Hill Road. The circa 1924 Cape Cod style main residence is located towards its southeast. The barn is separated from the main residence by a driveway from the east while clusters of trees can be seen surrounding the barn.

[Monroe Center Historic District is located in the highest section of the Town of Monroe. The topography is rugged and winding roads following natural contours radiating from the central green- The district is centered about the Monroe Center Green, a triangular open space.

The Monroe Center Historic District is important in urban history since it retains its 18th century New England town plan consisting of a central green and radiating irregularly laid out streets following the natural contours. Architecturally the district is significant since it has well-preserved vernacular buildings dating from about 1750 to the present. It has several Federal period buildings of architectural distinction. The district has the ambiance of an undisturbed, pre-Civil War New England village.][Source: NR]

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

Barn: 27 X 52 Sqft, Circa 1809; Shed : 18 X 18 Sqft, Circa 1964;


Date Compiled


Compiled By

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


Field notes and photographs provided by: Lee Hossler, 03/28/2011.

Assessors’ records retrieved on April 7th, 2011 from website .

Assessors’ maps retrieved on April 7th, 2011 from website .

Brown T. Robins, Monroe Center Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 77001392 NRIS, National Park Service, 1977.

Photograph/Information retrieved on April 7th, 2011 from website

Photograph/Information retrieved on April 7th, 2011 from website

Photograph/Information retrieved on April 7th, 2011 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.

Monroe Center Local Historic District - 1969.

PhotosClick on image to view full file