new england farm house

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Rouen, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    a while back I was looking into the various styles of houses from "way back when" and found a "home grown" new england style farm house, unfortunatly I've never seen one myself as my understanding is most of them have met an early grave :shrug:
    but still the style interests me though it's much to big for my liking I find it unique, has anyone ever lived in or owned a "big house little house back house barn"?

    there really isn't alot of information online about them that I have found, but for those whom are unfamiliar with the design as the name suggests it's a series of buildings connected in one way or another generally not a breeze way but attached at the sides except for the barn which may form an "L" shape, design varied a bit though.
    and if memory sereves me right big house was for the family whom owned the property, little house was for visiting relatives or workmen and was also the kitchen, back house was for storage and of course the barn was a working barn.

    if anyone has any good articles online about these structures I'd enjoy the read, can never know to much about anything.
     

  2. FarmboyBill

    FarmboyBill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The continious style of farm buildings got there start in Maine, NH and Vermont by and large. Snow is credited with the start of it, and COLD. They were much appriciated, and MANY was built. In the 1600s a ban was put on them as being a fire hazard, and a fine was to be paid to those who insisted on building them,, but no record exists of anyone paying the fine, and by the 1700s the ban was dropped, and a farmer could build what the heck he dang well pleased on his property
     
  3. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    This says that these raun from 1860 to 1920.

    Not very "way back when".

    My house in Connecticut was re-modeled in 1890. We owned a house in Scotland that was built in 1860.

    What about the older homes?

    Pre-civil war?

    :)
     
  4. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    I'd like to add that having lived in one of these connected farmhouses the REAL advantage lies in a fly being able to make it from the barn to the kitchen without getting wet!
     
  5. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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  6. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    In some areas around here, as we drive and look as many as a third of the homes are connected to their barns. Some connect directly, others have a walled-in breeze-way connecting the house to the barn.

    Some look like they were built pre-indoor plumbing and electricity, others post-plumbing and electricity.

    I think the primary motivator though was not having to mush through so much snow, to do chores.

    :)
     
  7. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    The last house restored on "This Old House" - had the barn attached to the house...don't know if they mentioned when the connection from the colonial house to the barn was done. It was currently in a town and I don't think they new owers will be doing much homesteading as they barn was renovated to be part of the living area of the house. I think they mentioned the list price (first time "This Old House" purchased a home with the intent to resale it) would be $2-3 Million.

    Marlene

    P.S. Don't ya'll just love it when someone post something that really doesn't have anything to do with the intent of the thread starter? :)
     
  8. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

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    MarleneS I saw that episode while back, I believe it was out on the cape.. and I think they said that style is pretty common out there.

    ET1 SS thats a very good reason, IMO anyway, I dont like the snow very much.
     
  9. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in a small NE farmhouse in Maine. The house was situated on 13 acres, we had a large garden, large orchard, berries galore as well as pigs, chickens and jersey cows. The house itself was small, compared to some, it was connected with an entry way that led to the kitchen on the left and to the right connected to, what we called the pit, a deep hole similar to a cellar that was all open where we stored our firewood, even though we used the old oil stoves for heat. Connected to that was a large barn that made the L shape. It housed the cows, had a bucket and pulleys that were once used for slaughtering pigs but we used the bucket for a basketball hoop and it had an upper story that was used for storing hay. It was all divided into seperate areas by walls and we had one luxury room....a 3 holer.

    The house was built in the 20's but my father didn't buy it until the early 50's for the low low price of 1500.00. Must be nice!! We had electricity but no indoor plumbing and no running water until the early 60's, we had a hand pump in the front yard.

    There were still many of them around when I was growing up, almost everyone I knew lived in one.

    If I get the energy to look for a pic, I'll post it.
     
  10. Scomber

    Scomber Well-Known Member

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    Have you looked at this book:
    http://books.google.com/books?vid=I...k+house+barn"&sig=hAbhck8hjR7vww3IKwR_ILLSCRo

    Also, Maine has a good tradition of moving buildings when necessary. Some of these connected places weren't necessarily built that way, but were assembled from the original separate structures. Design varies.

    The big house would have the heated core: bedrooms, living and dinning area. The second structure would have the kitchen, which produces it's own heat, and rooms that don't require so much winter heat. In the summer, this puts the hot kitchen away from the sleeping areas and provides for more ventilation. Next comes the woodshed, convenient to the kitchen stove and house stoves. Just after the woodshed comes the privy, hygenically separated from the kitchen by the woodshed, and since you have to walk by the woodshed, why don't you get an armload on your way back in? Beyond that would be a carriage shed, or a workshop for farmstead maintenance and repairs, or storage rooms. Beyond that, the stables, henhouse, and/or cow stall. Beyond that, or maybe over it, the barn devoted mostly to hay storage.

    Or at least that's my understanding. My house only goes as far as the woodshed. It wouldn't take much to bridge the eight feet to the garage though. Firewalls are important.

    Dan
     
  11. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    Rouen: I dont know where you live in the NorthEast, but I can assure you that the big house little house shed barn is alive and kicking throughout most of New England. Granted you have to get off the Interstate, but they arent hard to find. My great grandfather owned one that was built in 1782. It unfortunately succumbed to old age and neglect in the 1990s and was shamefully torn down.
    When I was a boy, my best friend Doug Fiske and his family lived in an enormous 1740 colonial that was attached to a huge dairy barn. It was a true center chimney colonial with big fireplaces in all the main rooms. Its gone too, but there are still plenty of them around even in NE Connecticut where I was raised, despite the galloping gentrification and burgeoning suburbs. Head up to Vermont and Maine, you will find plenty of inspiration. :)
     
  12. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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  13. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    Well thats okay, people have to live in newer homes too.

    Nothing to be ashamed about.

    :)
     
  14. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    They're a dime a dozen in Maine..I lived in one in Farmington Maine in the 1970's..it was built in the early 1900's..It always amazed me that they're only like that in New England since to me anyway, they make so much more sense..why would anyone want to get all dressed up in winter gear just to milk the cows/goats instead of just putting on a sweater over your flannels and opening up the one door off the kitchen with your coffee mug in your hand? There you are..Get that milking done, open up the barn door, wave good-bye to the animals and come on back inside the house (take those barn shoes OFF when you step in that kitchen) ..grab another cup of coffee and set yourself down by the woodstove and stretch and yawn.

    The flies don't care if the barn is 100 feet from the house or attached to it, they'll find your kitchen anyway when they smell the bread rising on the counter.
    Having an attached barn gives new reason to keeping it clean and sanitary..LOL
    I DREAM of having a small homestead with an attached New England barn again..just NOT in New England.. :)
     
  15. ET1 SS

    ET1 SS zone 5 - riverfrontage Supporter

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    Oh come on now, you would be welcome.

    Like you say, attached house/barns are very common, and not limited to old homes at all. You can get them all over the place around he'ah.

    I think they built them right up into the 1970s. Then they shifted over to the single-wide trailer, with a secondary roof over it and attached barn. I see a lot of those too.
     
  16. Dave S.

    Dave S. Well-Known Member

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    A friend of mine moved to Poughtlund (Portland, in the vernacular) during grade school. I went up to visit him the following summer. He was living in the largest BH.LH.BH.B. I have ever seen. It started with a GIANT colonial, a smaller house which he and his family lived in, the original barn with stanchions, a modern milking parlor, and two modern freestall barns set at 90 degrees to each other. It must have been 350 feet long. It was set in the middle of about 100 open acres with a stream at the back with another 250 acres.
     
  17. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    The Big House-Little House-Back House-Barn arrangement is indeed still quite commonly found all over New England. Our house in New Hampshire was the front (small) house of one of those arrangements -- the barn and the ell between the house and barn had burned, though by some miracle the house was saved. That house was built in the 1850's. Then we had neighbors who had a complete BH-LH-BH-B built in the 1790's (not long after that area of Central NH was settled). Early one morning it burned -- all but the front house burned to the ground, and the front house had so much water and smoke damage that it had to be torn down. That's why there aren't as many of that type of house left as there once were -- bad wiring or wet hay caused the barns to catch fire and they usually took the entire structure with them. I don't like trudging through snow and ice to get to the barn any more than anyone else does, but I think for safety's sake, it's better to keep the dwelling separated from the barn, far enough that fire can't spread between the two.

    Kathleen