Several large structures constitute the collection of agricultural buildings on this historically significant site. Two large barn structures (one of which is actually two connected buildings), a chicken coop, and a large shed are documented here. Also on the property in close proximity are two wells, two privies, and an historic school house, in addition to the main house and side ell. Both main barns are parallel to Main Street. These are referred to as the East Barn and the West Barn. The chicken coop is perpendicular to the road, but eh adjoining shed is also parallel. Main Street passes this property at a north to south angle. This complex has been researched extensively and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The primary façade of the East Barn is the west eave-wise, which directly faces the West Barn. The east barn is 1 ½-stories in height with a gable-roof. It is evenly divided into nine bays. The northern bay features a recessed sliding door. Oversize sliding doors appear to cover all of the remaining bays except the fourth bay from the south. All sliding doors are mounted on an exterior overhead track except in the furthest north bay.
The north gable-end includes two symmetrically placed window openings, within the gable-attic, each with decorative molded head trim above. The east eave-side has two-pane rectangular windows located in the northern four bays and the southern two bays. A pass-through door is located in the third bay from the south. The south gable-end contains a single window openings beneath the roofline in the eastern half. Also present on this end is visible ghosting from a carriage house which used to adjoin this wall prior to 1913 (see northern half of west barn).
The exterior of this barn is clad in vertical wooden flush-board siding, painted white. The roof is covered with gray asphalt shingles. This barn has historically been used for the storage of wagons, farm tractors, and other powered farm implements.
The west barn lies to the immediate west of the east barn, and is parallel in orientation. It is in actuality two separate buildings which have been joined together. These will be documented below as the Northern Half and the Southern Half.
The northern half of the barn is actually a carriage house, moved to this site from the south gable-end of the east barn in the late 1800s. It is a three-bay 1 ½-story gable roof structure. The primary façade of this half is the east eave-side, which faces the east barn. The southern bay contains an oversize sliding door of wooden construction, mounted on an overhead track. The center and northern bay each contain a wooden panel pass-through door. The north gable-end contains two vertically-aligned double-hung windows, centered. On the first-story is a twelve-over-twelve window. Directly above it, partially within the gable-attic, is a twelve-over-eight window. The west eave-side contains a double-hung window opening in each bay. The northern and central windows are of the twelve-over-eight pattern. The southern window is twelve-over-three with a reused lower sash from elsewhere.
The exterior of this barn is clad in horizontal wooden clapboard, painted white. The roof is covered in gray asphalt shingles. It sits upon a concrete foundation which was created when the building was moved to this site.
The southern half of the barn is adjacent gable-end to gable-end to the northern half, but is slightly wider, extending four addition feet to the west. The primary façade of this barn is also the east eave-side. The main entries on this side consist of two wooden-plank pass-through doors measuring 4’ x 8’, mounted on a continuous upper track, and set asymmetrically into the façade. A twelve-pane window is mounted to the immediate north of the northern door. Each window on this southern half has the same decorative molded head trim that is found on the east barn.
The south gable-end consists of a symmetrical pair of twelve-pane windows on the first-story. Splitting the girt line is a rectangular hinged wood plank hay door, immediately above which is an identical twelve-pane window, also with the decorative head trim above. The west eave-side contains four windows of different sizes and alignment. Furthest to the north is a six-pane horizontal window. Near the center of the building, a six-pane and four-pane window are set at a slightly higher level than the northern window. The final window is to the immediate south of the four-pane; this is a vertical six-pane type, and set below the three others on the wall.
The exposed portion of the northern gable-end is blank aside from a partially-exposed rectangular wood-plank door slightly off-center from the roof-ridgeline. The presence of this partially-exposed opening indicates the southern half was already in place when the northern half was moved from the southern end of the east barn.
The exterior of this barn is clad in vertical wooden flush-board siding, painted white. The roof is covered with wooden shingles. It has a poured concrete foundation, faced with fieldstone on the north, south and east sides.
This is a 1 ½-story wagon shed with parallel orientation to Main Street. The primary façade of this wagon shed is the east eave-side. The majority of this side is occupied by an oversize open stall entry, with clipped upper corners. The southern section is a solid wall and includes a single six-over-six double-hung window, centered. The south gable-end includes a paired six-pane window, slightly off-center to the west. A two-pane horizontal window opening is centered within the gable-attic on this end. The west eave-side includes a wood plank pass-through door, located in the southern half. The remainder of this side is blank. The north gable-end is also blank.
This shed is sheathed in vertical wooden siding on the east and south sides, and horizontal wooden siding on the west and north sides. A rubblestone foundation is visible on all sides.
Situated perpendicular to Main Street, the southwest corner of the chicken coop abuts the shed’s northeast corner. The chicken coop was actually built in two segments, but is not one continuous structure: an earlier western portion, and a newer eastern section. The coop is actually a bank structure, as the northern eave-side is embanked into a rising slope. It is a 1 ½-story structure with a gable-roof.
The primary façade of the coop is the south eave-side. The main entry on this side consists of a centered wood-plank pass-through door, with an eight-pane window set within. To the east of the door is a six-pane window, followed by a small gap, and then a series of three additional six-pane windows. Slit vents are located beneath each of the windows near the floor line in this half. The western half of this façade consists of two double-hung windows. The window nearest the door is an eight-over-twelve type. The window nearest the southwest corner is a nine-over-nine type. The foundation along this side is of split fieldstone.
The west gable-end consists of a single vertical six-pane window splitting the girt line within the gable-attic. The foundation along this end is a mix of concrete and fieldstone. The north eave-side clearly demarcates the two halves of the structure. The western half has a concrete foundation. A single vertically oriented window opening has been boarded over, with trim still in place. The eastern half of this structure has a fieldstone foundation. A wood-plank pass-through door is located just to the east of where the foundations change.
The east gable-end is mounted upon large stone boulders at the foundation level. A dropped girt line siding divide is located on this end only. The exterior of this coop is faced with vertical wooden siding on all sides, painted white.
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.
Poultry farming grew in popularity during the second half of the 19th century, and by the early 20th century most farms had small chicken coops. These lightly-built structures often feature a gabled or shed roof and large windows on the south side. Often chicken coops have a small stove and chimney for heat to protect young chicks during cold weather. Small openings near the ground provide the fowl with access to the yard. Inside are nesting boxes for the laying hens. During the 1930s and 1940s, poultry farming was adopted by many farmers in New England as a replacement for dairy farming.
During the 1930s and 1940s, poultry farming was adopted by many farmers in New England as a replacement for dairy farming. Many large cow barns were converted into chicken barns with the addition of more floors and numerous windows and dormers.
A shed is typically a simple, single-story structure in a back garden or on an allotment that is used for storage, hobbies, or as a workshop. Sheds vary considerably in the complexity of their construction and their size, from small open-sided tin-roofed structures to large wood-framed sheds with shingled roofs, windows, and electrical outlets. Sheds used on farms or in industry can be large structures.
Distinguished by the long shed or gable roof and the row of large openings along the eave side, the typical wagon shed was often built as a separate structure or as a wing connected to the farmhouse or the barn. These open-bay structures protect farm vehicles and equipment from the weather and provide shelter for doing small repairs and maintenance.
The Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden embodies the dramatically different passions of two extraordinary individuals: Rev. Joseph Bellamy (1719-1790) and Miss Caroline Ferriday (1902-1990). Rev. Joseph Bellamy, a renowned leader of the Great Awakening, the emotional religious revival of the 1740s, built the house in 2 stages, in 1754 and in 1767, as his family, theological seminary, and stature grew. Architectural embellishments were added by Rev. Bellamy’s eldest son in the1790s. The 100 acre farmstead with numerous outbuildings remained in the family until 1868. (www.ctlandmarks.org)
The property went through several owners until it was purchased by Caroline Ferriday’s parents, Henry and Eliza Ferriday, in 1912. The family updated the house with modern amenities and Mrs. Ferriday began reshaping the outdoor spaces by designing a formal parterre garden, introducing a wide variety of fragrant trees, shrubs and perennials, sweeping lawns and evergreens to provide more privacy from the road. Following World War II and her mother’s death, Caroline continued the stewardship of the property realizing that she “had Bethlehem under my skin.” Under her care the rose & lilac collections grew and the property was further refined as a breathtaking combination of natural and man-made beauty. Miss Ferriday, an actress, conservationist and philanthropist supported the Free France Movement during World War II, was a leader in securing help for Ravensbruck Concentration Camp survivors and involved in the Civil Rights Movement. She deeded the property and furnishings to Connecticut Landmarks on her death and most of her property to the Bethlehem Land Trust. (www.ctlandmarks.org)
The complex was extensively documented in two architectural analysis survey documents prepared in 1993 and 1994 by Russell Wright, architect, which looked at the residence and also at each of the various outbuildings present on this property. In addition, this property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Joseph Bellamy House in 1982. See the sources section of this Historic Resources Inventory for citations of these works.
An English barn, which formerly stood in the opening at the north end of the barnyard between the two extant barns, was donated to the Abbey of Regina Laudis in 1949 to house a Neapolitain creche. See entry for 273 Flanders Road.
The structures highlighted in this document represent each of the large agricultural outbuildings which are still extent on the property today. The east and west barns are generally parallel to Main Street and face each other. The chicken coop is located to the north of the west barn, and the shed is located to the immediate southwest of the coop. The large dwelling associated with this property is located to the south of the west barn and is a historical landmark. The outbuildings highlighted here are each surrounded by grassy open space. A wide circle-drive leads from Main Street to the entrance of the house, with a small parking lot present to the southeast of the east barn. The formal gardens, developed during the Ferriday years, are located to the west of the main house. A line of large deciduous trees stretches to the west from the north end of the west barn, which lines a long gravel driveway giving access to Munger Lane. Two large agricultural fields are located to the immediate north of the agricultural buildings, directly abutting the north eave-side of the coop. These fields are each bordered by tree lines. The estate property is shielded from the street by a tree line of large coniferous trees in front of and to the south of the house along Main Street and West Road (CT-132). Dwellings are located across Main Street to the east. The village green of Bethlehem is located just to the south of this property at the southwest corner of Main Street and West Roads, which denotes the historical village center. Commercial and residential properties spread out from this point to the south and west. A large woodland is located beyond the agricultural fields to the north.
East Barn: 89’ 9” x 24’ 4”, West Barn (north half): 36 ‘ 4” x 14’ 3”, (south half): 44’ 4” x 18’ 3”, Shed: 24’ 3” x 16’ 4”, Chicken Coop: 34’ 8” x 12’ 3”.
N. Nietering & T. Levine, reviewed by CT Trust
Bethlehem Green Historic District, Bethlehem Historic District 1976, http://www.historicdistrictsct.org/maps/Bethlehem%20Green%20Historic%20District.htm-6/16/2011.
OneNewEngland web site: http://www.onenewengland.com/article.php?id=346&cid=1
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, 213 pages.
Wright, Russell, An Architectural Analysis of the Outbuildings and Barns at The Hay/The Bellamy-Ferriday House, Bethlehem, Connecticut, Feb. 1994.
Map of Bethlehem, CT, retrieved on June 16, 2011 from website www.bing.com.
Bethlehem Assessor’s Records - Vision Appraisal online - http://data.visionappraisal.com/BethlehemCT
Connecticut Landmarks, Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden. Available from the Web: http://www.ctlandmarks.org/index.php?page=bellamy-ferriday-house-garden
“Joseph Bellamy House,” National Register Nomination Form, 1982. Available from the Web: http://pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/82004444.pdf
Photographs by Alicia Designs.