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HVVA NEWSLETTER, July 2004
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FROM THE JOURNAL
SINGLE AISLE DUTCH BARNS
Friday, June 18, went to Old Kings Highway, Kaiserike, Town of Rochester, Ulster County to see a late 18th century 1-and-a-1/2 story stone house with a large five-bay single aisle Dutch barn (Uls-Roc-14)___/Lane, previously unknown to me, that Conrad Fingado has been stabilizing and straightening for the owner. It is a scribe rule frame with Roman numeral marriage marks and evidence of lead screws on the drill bits that dates it circa 1790.

The typical orientation of the house and barn, set 100-feet apart with offset parallel roof lines, makes the two buildings appear contemporary and on their original foundations. Evidence of rafter collar ties in the barn makes it appear to be an original single-aisle frame, rather than a three-aisle Dutch barn that has lost its side aisles. The single-aisle form of the New World Dutch barn is rare but distinct. I would imagine there are about six examples in a total of 100 Dutch barns surviving in Ulster County. This example shows a frame design that is specialized and unique. It is the eleventh Dutch barn known in the Town of Rochester and the second single-aisle example.

Tuesday, June 22, I went to see the two-story stone and brick house with three-bay single aisle Dutch barn in the Town of Rochester, Ulster County, NY. ___/Gazley/Dogar-Marinesco (Uls-Roc-6)

 

Five-Bay Single Aisle Dutch Barn
___/Land (Uls-Roc-14)
Town of Rochester, Ulster County, NY
Conrad has set a protective tarp against the wall where he is working, removing siding and exposing the frame. Much of the sills have rotted away and many posts have become shorter. Using a laser-level it was found that one front post had dropped 28 inches.



Five-Bay Single Aisle Dutch Barn
___/Land (Uls-Roc-14)
Town of Rochester, Ulster County, NY

Bolting planks to the frame and using a pair of screw jacks, Conrad raises each post separately, cuts away what is rotten and sets it on a cement pier that is cast with wood strips for re-nailing the siding. It is important that the wood post and the cement pier are separated with a vapor barrier. This cement pier system was found to be the most economical way to stabilize the barn frame and could be easily removed later if the posts are repaired and the sill system replaced.

Five-Bay Single Aisle Dutch Barn
___/Land (Uls-Roc-14)
Town of Rochester, Ulster County, NY

The barn is at least 200 years old. The collar ties on the rafters were removed almost 100 years ago when a hay track was installed. Conrad made some necessary rafter repairs and collar ties should eventually be re-installed. They help keep the walls and rafters from spreading.

I had examined the Gazley barn 10 years ago and had noted the rafter collar ties and the end wall door posts, which are grooved for wooden hinges. Because of the collar ties I had concluded it was built as a single aisle barn. This examination convinced me that the barn began as a classic three-aisle three-bay Dutch barn and was converted to a single aisle. The proof is in the longitudinal struts, drilled on the cow-aisle side with 2-inch holes set 1-foot apart, and on the horse aisle side with one-inch notches set four inches apart for the stake hay-manger. These could only serve animals in the side aisles of the original barn. An important feature in a surviving cow strut is the remains of stakes that were broken off when the barn was converted, leaving the tops of the stakes in their original position, wedged to stabilize them.

This is a feature I first discovered a few weeks ago in the Snyder barn in Saugerties, a farm with a rich oral tradition. Ken Snyder can recall as a child sitting on the sill plate in the cow aisle watching his grandparents milk the cows that were chained to the stakes. Ken was able to sit on the sill because the wood floor rested on the dirt below. After a new addition was made to the barn in the 1950’s, with a cement floor and stanchions, the old cow aisle was abandoned. Occasionally pigs were kept there and they quickly ate up the exposed stakes, the loose floor boards, and probably the sleepers they rested on.

Three-Bay Single Aisle Dutch Barn
with Two-Bay Addition
___/Gazlay/Marinesco (Uls-Roc-6)

On the way home I stopped at the Lane single-aisle Dutch barn again. I had begun to understand it from trying to draw it and I needed to check measurements. Conrad had discovered several new things hidden behind some modern siding he was removing. There appears to have been a small outshot attached to the barn. But with no door between the sections and large early nails, Conrad felt they were probably originally separated by a plank wall rather than the 3/4-by-14-inch unpainted white pine weatherboard siding that had been on the rest of the barn.

July Newsletter, Part Two

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