Barn Record Madison

Building Name (Common)
John Graves House
Building Name (Historic)
John Graves House
581 Boston Post Road (Rte 1), Madison


Historic Significance

Architectural description:

This is a 1 1/2-story gable-roofed barn structure oriented with its ridge-line parallel to Boston Post Road, which runs approximately east-west. The main facade of the barn faces north. In the center of the north eave-facade of the barn is a pair of overhead garage doors, opening to grade on the main level.  A nine-pane sash window with a protruding sill is located on the east half of the north eave-facade of the barn.  The same type of window is located on the west half of the east eave-side of the barn.  A swinging hinged hay door is located in the center, above the garage doors, on the second level of the east eave-side of the barn.

The south eave-façade of the barn, facing the rear of the house it is associated with, appears to have three-bays on the main level. The center bay has a pair of swinging hinged barn doors.  The west end (left) bay and the east end (right) bay each have a single swinging hinged barn door.  All doors open on grade and appear to have the original iron strap hinges.  The east gable-end of the barn has a bank of six nine-pane barn sash windows with protruding sills. A six-pane window with trim in the gable attic on the east gable-end.  The west gable-end of the barn has three nine-pane barn sash windows with protruding sills located on the north half of the main level. A six-pane window with trim is located in the gable attic of the west gable-end of the barn.  A few courses of fieldstone foundation wall are visible on all sides of the barn; most notably on the east gable-end where the grade slopes slightly toward the north.  The barn has vertical flush-board siding and gable-end attic window trim painted red. The roof appears to be wood shingle.

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.

Historical background:

Associated with the c. 1675 Deacon John Grave House, a 2-1/2 story, 4-bay, central chimney, clapboard saltbox on stone foundations. The gable roof is covered with wood shingles. The house has 5 fireplaces with an ell to southwest and a 2 story, vertical boarding 19th century barn.  This house reflects the earliest approach to housing that still remains in the community.

Field Notes

Good condition,used for storage and public events Located in Madison Green National Register Historic District, and appears to be a contributing resource within the district.

Use & Accessibility

Use (Historic)

Use (Present)

Exterior Visible from Public Road?




Location Integrity



Related features

Environment features

Relationship to surroundings

The barn is behind and to the north of the c. 1679 Saltbox-style house it is associated with. The ridge-line of the house is parallel to the ridge-line of the barn. A fieldstone retaining wall extends from the northeast corner of the barn and runs parallel to Academy Street.  To the north of the barn is a large parking lot associated with a church located further north. To the west of the barn is Academy Street, which runs approximately north-south.  The total size of the site is 1.69 acres. The area surrounding the site is residential.

Typology & Materials

Building Typology


Structural System

Roof materials

Roof type

Approximate Dimensions

1040 sq. ft.


Date Compiled


Compiled By

A. Ehrgott & T. Levine; reviewed by CT Trust


Field notes and photographs by Warner Lord date 05/28/2010.

Town of Madison Assessor’s Record:
Parcel ID: 00239100

Aerial Mapping: accessed 02/17/2011.

Ransom, David F., Madison Green Historic District National Register Nomination No. 82004353, National Park Services, 1982.

Sexton, James, PhD, Madison Historic District Study Committee
Final Report, Madison, CT, 2006,

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