This is a 1 ½ story gable-entry bank barn with its eastern gable-side facing Main Street. The western gable-façade of the barn facing the farm was probably the original main façade of the barn with the main entrance at the center. The main entrance on the façade was probably through a pair of exterior-hung hooded sliding wagon doors which have been later converted to a pair of double-height hinged wagon doors. The hood of the main entrance forms a continuous trim on the façade. The grade level along the façade drops on either side of the main entrance which continues to form the bank along the southern eave-side and the eastern gable-side. The western gable-façade has a second entrance towards the south, accessed from the lower grade level by a wooden ramp. A boarded window can be seen towards the north on the façade, flanked in between the horizontal trim below and a distinct dropped girt siding divide line above separating the gable attic. The southern eave-façade of the barn has hinged vertical siding at the first floor level and a semi-open shed-roofed addition at the bank level. The façade has an entrance through a pair of hinged doors towards the east to access the bank level. The façade also appears to have a window and a second pass-through entrance towards the west at the bank level. The western gable-façade of the barn facing Main street is the present main façade displaying the name of the barn ‘The Old Cider Mill’ towards the south, just above the bank level. A metal saddle can be seen on the façade off-centered towards the north of the signage. The façade has a semi-open shed-roofed addition at the bank level and appears to have two pairs of alternate doors and windows towards the east, which seem to be later additions. The northern eave-façade of the barn is blank with a distinct siding divide line at the first floor level, separating the bank below. The bank has vertical siding towards the east and concrete block masonry towards the west. The grade level along the façade gradually rises towards the west.
The wooden frame of the barn is supported on concrete block and field-stone foundation. The barn has asphalt roofing with vertical siding on the walls.
The New England barn or gable front barn was the successor to the English barn and relies on a gable entry rather than an entry under the eaves. The gable front offers many practical advantages. Roofs drain off the side, rather than flooding the dooryard. With the main drive floor running parallel to the ridge, the size of the barn could be increased to accommodate larger herds by adding additional bays to the rear gable end. Although it was seen by many as an improvement over the earlier side-entry English Barn, the New England barn did not replace its predecessor but rather coexisted with it. The 19th century also saw the introduction of a basement under the barn to allow for the easy collection and storage of a winter’s worth of manure from the animals sheltered within the building. The bank barn is characterized by the location of its main floor above grade, either through building on a hillside or by raising the building on a foundation. This innovation, aided by the introduction of windows for light and ventilation, would eventually be joined by the introduction of space to shelter more animals under the main floor of the barn.
The tobacco barn, or shed as they are called in the Connecticut River Valley, is one of the most distinctive of the singe-crop barns. They tend to be long, low windowless buildings with pitched roofs. They are characterized by vented sides to regulate air flow and allow harvested tobacco to cure at the appropriate rate. This is accomplished with one of four different systems: vertical siding with top-hinged vents, vertical siding with side-hinged vents, horizontal siding with top hinged vents, or a series of large doors along one of the long sides of the building with the other sides of the building vented. The interior structural framework served a second purpose in addition to supporting the walls and roof of the building; it provided a framework for the rails used to hang the tobacco as it was curing.
2008 Barn Grant Recipient The lower level of the mill has a cider pressing operation and a small retail shop, with a concrete storage vault towards the west and lean-to-sheds on the east and south sides. The main level contains some equipment related to the cider pressing with a storage loft added above in two levels. According to the research carried out for feasibility studies (Barn Grant Application), the first recorded property ownership is dated to 1644 while the first dated mention of the Cider Mill is in 1850. The oldest continuously operating Cider Mill in the United States is located right here in Glastonbury. The property, which is leased to local farmers, continues to be used for agriculture. Crops, include apples, peaches, berries, green peppers, tomatoes, asparagus, and many others. The Cider Mill is open seasonally, August-October and serves as a farmers market featuring a bountiful delegation of locally grown organic fruits and vegetables. Hay rides and a petting zoo are generally available after Labor Day. Source: http://www.glasct.org/index.aspx?page=188 National Register Historic District.
T. Levine and M. Patnaik, reviewed by CT Trust
Photographs and information provided by –
Town of Glastonbury, 2155 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT- 06033
2008 Barns Grant application
National Register Historic District.
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.