Barn Record Trumbull

Building Name (Common)
Abraham Nichols Park barn
Building Name (Historic)
Woods Estate/Old Tannery Park
1856 Huntington Turnpike, Trumbull


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 2 ½ - story three-bay eave-entry barn with a gable-roof addition encompassing the entire length of its south gable-end. The ridge line of both the main barn and the gable-roof addition runs north-south parallel to Huntington Turnpike. The three-bay west eave-side of the main barn flush with the west eave-side of the gable-roof addition and facing the road is the main façade. The three-bay main west eave-façade of the barn has a double-span main entrance covering the first two bays from the north through a pair of exterior-hung hooded Z-braced sliding wagon doors with six modules of six-pane window inserts. The first bay from the south has a six-over-six double-hung sash window at the center while three similar six-over-six double-hung sash windows can be seen equally spaced at the second floor level. The west eave-side of the gable-roof addition flush with the west eave-façade of the main barn has four six-over-six double-hung sash windows; two each at the first floor level and the second floor level. The grade level along the main west eave-façade gradually declines towards the south the masonry foundation of the barn. The gable-roof of the main barn has a cupola centered along the ridge line.

The wooden frames of the main barn and the gable-roof addition are supported on masonry foundation. The complex has asphalt shingle roofing and white painted horizontal siding.

Historical significance:

The two story barn and the shed are both contributing to Nichols Farms Historic District, 87001392 NRIS.

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 and wagon doors entrances suggest its probable usage as a carriage barn.

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

2011 Barns Grant pre-application. This barn is adjacent to the Trumbull Historical Society Museum and Abraham Nichols Park (original homesteader) in the Nichols Section of the Town of Trumbull. Abraham Nichols Park - 13.3 acres with outbuildings, orchard, community gardens and forest trail to old saddle factory (Ambler) ruins. Building is sited in the "Nichols Farms Historic District" on the National Register. Formally the residence of George and Florence Nichols who bequeathed the property to the Nichols United Methodist Church, then purchased by the Town of Trumbull and designated as a Town Park and the home of the Trumbull Historical Soceity. Trumbull Historical Society has primary use of the residence but would like to include the barn as well for educational programs and community gatherings. THS has a 99 year lease starting in or around 1977. Open shed location with excellent driver or pedestrian view of the barn from the street or adjacent sidewalk used by neighbors and area residents visiting the park. Rochambeau's Cavalry, Lanzun's Legion, may have marched here. Greenhouse was likely built during the 20th century, while barn and house were likely built in the 19th century. Circa 1806, Woods estate/Old Tannery Park, Trumbull Historical Society, Colonial 5-bay central chimney house with colonial revival alterations and additions both exterior and interior, Nor Abraham Nichols Park, Contributing; Circa 1806 2-story barn: Contributing; Early 20th century greenhouse: Contributing; Early 20th shed: Contributing [NRIS 87001392]

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The 13.3 acres property, ID number- 00100400 and MBL number- J/09 / 00037/ 000/ is located towards the east of Huntington Turnpike and the west of Shelton Road which runs at an angle from the northeast to the southwest. The property is contributing to Nichols Farms Historic District on the National Register. It is located in a predominantly residential area of historical significance with individual plots separated by dense woodland. The property is surrounded by residential plots towards the north, west, south and the east across the roads in respective directions while Nothangle Memorial Park and Nichols Farm Cemetery is located towards further southeast. 

The barn is located towards the western edge of the property in an area cordoned off from the rest of the plot by dense woodland. The ridge line of the barn runs north-south parallel to the road while the circa 1806 colonial historic main residence is locates towards its southwest. A greenhouse can be seen towards the south of the barn while the circa 1978 cottage is located towards the northwest of the barn, across the woodland. Open land with trees along the fringes can be seen towards the north, east and the south of the cottage. 

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

Barn: 1604 SqFt; Green House: 475 SqFt.


Date Compiled


Compiled By

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


Field notes and photographs provided by: Kenneth Martin, Sr., 05/16/2011.

2011 Barn Grant Application

Ransom, David, Nichols Farms Historic District, National Register Nomination Number- 87001392 NRIS, National Park Service, 1987.

Assessors information retrieved on June 28th, 2011 from the website

Photograph/Information retrieved on June 28th, 2011 from website

Photograph/Information retrieved on June 28th, 2011 from website

Photograph/Information retrieved on June 28th, 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.

PhotosClick on image to view full file