HVVA NEWSLETTER, April 2003, Part Two

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HVVA Newsletters


The drawings on the upper left were done in 1988. Above, shows a section of the present barn at Bent 2. It was unclear at that time why the columns were raised. Because the roof rafters were not continuous pairs but in two parts on each side, above and below the purlin, some concluded that the roof originally had a double slope, others thought the side walls were rebuilt higher, 14.5-feet high. Below, shows the original five columns on the south side supporting the purlin with four long braces joined to the columns below the anchorbeam.

The Drawings on the right were done after a recent revisit. Above shows an internal section of the Jansen Dutch barn with conjectured 10-foot high side-walls, It was framed originally with collar ties on the major rafters supporting upper purlins that supported minor rafters spaced between the majors. This rafter system was not recognized in 1988. In The Netherlands it is associated with thatch. Below shows the floor plan of the 4-bay Dutch barn indicating the ten columns, ten wall-posts and two door-posts. Only the front wagon doors are shown. There is conflicting information or none concerning back wagon doors and aisle doors.

The Jansen door is in very original condition. It appears to have only one coat of a gray paint that covers both the wood and the iron hardware. This 18th century treatment should be noted, today, Dutch hardware is often painted black.

The ceiling beams on the main floor in the 1750 house are not consistent with the early 18th century. Some are chamfered one is beaded. They appear to be light reused beams. The cellar beams are consistent with an early 18th century cellar. The house may originally have been a one room house of which the upper level was changed, perhaps raising the ceiling and replacing the heavy hood beam with lighter reused timbers when the 2 story center-hall house was built in 1803.

The Corn crib of circa 1800 has a scribe-rule frame and is in very original condition. It is a type of small Dutch aisle barn used for grain and wagon storage. Barrack plates reused from frames of various sizes are found in both the barn and the corn crib.

The barn and the corn crib need new metal roofs. The corn crib roof could be made of inexpensive 5-ridge panels but the irregular surface of the barn roof needs some thought. How much can be done from the inside and what should be done to build it up? One solution might be a tern-tile roof, similar to that on the Oliver Dutch barn, Marbletown, that has some of the same problems.

The Chorneys have owned the Jansen barn for five years and have had a number of necessary repairs made to the frame. A long rope is kept across one area of the roof that is subject to leaks and Bill Chorney, the owner, uses it and a ladder to climb on to the roof to make occasional repairs to the asphalt shingles. He had a structural engineer look at the barn who thought that the movement of the barn was part of the roof problem. Brian Kennedy, who is working on the present repairs to the north east corner, said that the building does move in a wind. At some time in its history seven of the eight purlin braces were removed and these should be replaced.


There is a nearby Dutch barn, the Decker/Bienstock (Uls-Sha-1) that has a carved "1750" date on a column. It is also a five-bay barn with purlin braces that join the columns below the anchorbeam. Its Columns and side walls were also raised in the 19th century. One difference is that all the braces are mortise and tenon rather than lap-dovetail. Do the barns represent different builders and building traditions or were they built for different roof coverings? HVVA will be visiting these barns in May and we should make some detailed observations.

(*) There is also such a door at Deerfield, Massachusetts. When reporting on the side door of the Glen/Sanders house in the February issue of the HVVA Newsletter, Vol 5, No.2, we did not look at the front door which has the alleged marks. All exterior Dutch doors open in but it is noteworthy that the Jansen and the Glen/Sanders Dutch doors differ on which side, is exposed on the exterior, the paneled or boarded side. What governs this choice? Peter Sinclair, Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture

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