On the road or from your armchair
“Though we are tempted to romanticize and sentimentalize traditional Vermont, it is important to remember that it had its dignity, its darkness, and its own worth. It was based not on nostalgia or sentiment but on work, the real fundamentalism of the time.
“Many of the traditional values of that earlier Vermont—a respect for hard work, a love of independence and of doing for oneself, a closeness to nature, a care for one’s community—still exist today, even though the living culture that shaped those values is now all but gone. The memories of traditional Vermont are passing gradually, as the people who knew and lived in that Vermont die. Yet it can be glimpsed from time to time and still colors the ways Vermonters think about themselves.” (Tom Slayton, Foreword, Up in the Morning Early by Scott Hastings, Jr, and Elsie R. Hastings, 1992)
“We have finally come to realize the beauty and excellence of the homes built by early Americans, but too often their barns are regarded as mere curiosities. They are, rather, the shrines of a good life and ought to be remembered.” (Eric Sloane, An Age of Barns, pub 1967)
Six barn types found on this tour:
English Barn (1780-1900): Entrance on the eaves end. (There is also an English hill-side barn.)
Yankee Barn (1830 onward): Entrance on the gable end.
Carriage/Horse Barn (1830-1900): Doors are usually large and on the gable end. Sometimes has an open bay for carriages.
Early Bank Barn (1850-1890): Small barn built on a hillside with gable end door.
Late Bank Barn (1880-1930): Larger barn on a hillside — often with a “high drive” for entering a gable end door on an upper floor.
Gambrel Roofed Barn (1880’s onward): A more rounded looking barn roof that provides extra hay storage. Door may be on the gable end or the eaves end.
NOTE: Please be aware that in driving this tour, you need to stay on the public right-of-way and do not enter private property.
The Townshend Barn Tour
This map shows all the Townshend barns in our self-guided tour. Numbers on the map correspond the the numbers on our barn descriptions below. Be sure to scroll down to learn more about our barns and view a selection of photos of each.
Barn 1) 378 Riverdale Road
(Allbee-Ela-Bedortha) Big gambrel-roofed barn c late 1800’s. An extension was added 1920. Famous Morgan Horse farm 1948-1957. In 1974 there were 48 head dairy cows. In more recent times it has been used for boarding horses.
Barn 2) 1183 Route 30
(Chamberlin/Howe/Burbee/Peck) Carriage/Horse barn c 1860 with clapboard siding and large cupola.
Barn 3) 1939 Route 30
(Clark-Steiner-Lyman) Carriage barn w/clapboards and cupola, c 1880. We’re told that it was previously painted yellow.
Barn 4) 2015 Route 30
(Taft-Kearly-Dery) Late bank barn (c 1870-1900) with stone foundation, clap-boards, stall windows, hay door, and sliding door.
Barn 5) 2863 East Hill Road
(Gale-Holt) Covered high-drive bank barn with slate roof (c 1880’s). By 1901 Horace Gale had a 73-head dairy herd, bred Morgan horses, and was the largest maple sugar producer in the area.
Barn 6) 1363 East Hill Road
(Follett-Steiner) Gambrel roof barn (c 1935) now used as hay barn for buffalo [SEE bison grazing in fields]. House built in 1785 burned in 1943; was a twin of the Gale-Holt home (#5 above).
Barn 7) 81 Top Notch Road
(Allbee-Eckhardt-Ferenbach) Small Yankee-style barn with gable entrance & cupola. (Probably late 1800’s). The long low barn (c 1965) is a pole barn. These barns were taken down c 2015 by the new owners.
Barn 8) 2098 Deer Valley Road
(Perry-Truesdell) Circa 1875 bank barn with sheet metal roof, novelty siding, and cupola. Outbuilding has a 3-bay horse run.
Barn 9) 510 Jay Road
(Bennett-Danforth) English barn (c 1840) with stone foundation, sheet metal roof, and vertical board siding. A more recent small barn houses a printing press.
Barn 10) 421 Deer Ridge Road
(Whitcomb-Warner-Thomson) Bank barn (c 1860’s). Used for sheep at one time.
Barn 11) 1463 Route 35
(Holbrook-Tobey-Swan) Bank barn with interior silo and slate roof; possibly as early as 1860. House built c 1830. Farm apparently operated a creamery c 1870-1940.
WEST TOWNSHEND Barns
This map shows all the West Townshend barns in our self-guided tour. Numbers on the map correspond the the numbers on our barn descriptions below. Be sure to scroll down to learn more about our barns and view a selection of photos of each.
Barn 12) 97 Stratton Drive
(Ransom-Stratton-Ranney Brook B&B) Circa 1855 English barns with central wagon entrances and double sliding doors. Shed c 1880.
Barn 13) 49 Worden Road (Garfield-Gardner-Johnson)
A small English-style barn with vertical board- and- batten siding, built c 1850. Caleb Garfield arrived in 1803 and his son, Sydney Garfield, who inherited the farm in 1864, was a dealer in horses, and did mixed farming.
Barn 14) 1657 Back Wyndham Road (Howard-Taft-DuGrenier)
This early 1800’s remodeled barn has hand-hewn posts and beams & was moved from the area of the Daniel Fisher farm (to the north on Back Windham Road). This barn burned on October 14, 2015. Emus used to roam the farmyard.
Barn 15) 2980 Back Wyndham Road (Fisher-Fleming)
Two small English barns (c 1890’s) were joined in 1936 and a garage added at the left. Two horses and a cow were pastured here during the summers in the 1940’s and 50’s. Cider-making was done in the basement.
Barn 16) 1276 Windham Hill Rd
(Howe-Pohlman-Beck-Merinoff) The c 1935 barn was constructed by Charles Pohlman using beams found on the property. (There was an earlier 3-story barn that stood to the east of the house.) The c 1910 wooden-stave silo was moved onto the site by Ralph Beck c 2005. The barn was remodeled, with a public ceramic studio added, in 2015. The main block of the house was built c 1806 by early settler, Deacon Benjamin Howe.
Barn 17) 311 Lawrence Dr
(Lawrence-Folsum-Windham Hill Inn) A turn-of-the-century dairy barn re-purposed as an inn. In 1880 there were 14 milk cows; 24 other cattle; 3 horses; 60 tons hay. Produce: 1,500 lbs butter & 50 lbs cheese….
Barn 18) 814 Windham Hill Rd
(Lawrence-Jackson) Side-hill English barn with transom and cupola (c 1875). Used for sheep, a few cows and a horse. Next to the barn is a vertically-stacked plank house, built in 1833.
Copyright Townshend Historical Society