As spring makes its arrival here in Vermont, we have taken the opportunity with the warmer days to dismantle a small timber frame barn near our shop.
The frame is part of a hillside farm that was settled in the late 1700s. This barn had a combination of hand forged and cut nails in siding and roof boards, and we believe it dates to the 1820s or earlier.
This barn was used for storage of both corn on the cob and oats. The interior of the barn was partitioned off on one side so that oats could be stored in tall wooden bins.
We absolutely love the homemade sliding doors at the bottom of the bins that allow for the oats to pour out. Imagine our surprise when we lifted the door and found that oats remained inside! Of course, we had to keep some of these vintage oats for our collection, as well as some of the old corn cobs that we found. We hope that whoever purchases this barn will be interested in the artifacts and history of the space. No wonder storage space in the shop is always tight!
We started our dismantling by stripping the slate off the roof. We then labeled and removed the roof boards.
In the next photo, you can see the slotted vertical siding boards. This was a typical method of siding for corn barns because it allows air flow through the building that will dry out the corn. What is unusual in this case is that the slotted siding was installed from inside, and then two large swinging doors were installed on the outside. After much head scratching, we concluded that this unusual method allowed for the doors to be closed in inclement weather to keep out the Vermont storms. The doors must have been strategically opened during good drying weather after harvest.
The surrounding mountains at this hillside farm are stunning.
On a beautiful sunny spring day, we popped the pins out of the frame and were ready for disassembly.
Once the frame was down, we pulled all of the nails and shipped the beams and boards back to our shop for restoration.
Our next steps on this frame will be to power wash the beams and boards and then make repairs to the bottoms of the posts where they fatigued over the last two hundred years. For the post bottom repairs, we will use similar hand hewn inventory and an English scarf joint to make a strong and beautiful repair.
This frame would make an incredible little cabin, mudroom addition on a house, or it could become a small barn once again to house chickens, goats, or sheep. Who knows, it may even house oats and corn once again.