NEWSLETTER, August 2005
FROM THE JOURNAL
Friday, July 15
Met with Craig and Patsy Vogel to locate the farm we would survey today on three 18th and 19th century maps that Pat had copied from the Red Hook Historical Society collection. Today the site on the Saw Kill is on two separate properties but the classic relation of the Stone house and Dutch barn indicate they were one farm. We registered it as _/Martin/Cookingham Dutch barn and stone house (ny/du/re/0003) coordinates N. 42"00.306' -W.073"52.403' elevation 328'.
The 3 bay Dutch barn has gone through many additions and changes. The original frame seems mid-18th century from its proportions and the style of its joinery. In the mid-19th century the frame was probably in bad shape. It was taken down and the columns extended about 4-feet higher. It seems to have been re-erected on:the same foundation. It is interesting that raising holes were drilled in these column extensions indicating the 19th-century carpenters were using the same timber-frame raising traditions as their grandfathers. One original feature of note was evidence of harr-hung (harn in Dutch, heal-hung) wagon doors on the south end.
A wide bay was added off the back to increase storage and higher side walls constructed. All the 19th century construction is with sawn timbers, braces and studs. In the mid 20th century the three internal anchorbeams and braces were removed leaving only their extended wedged tenons. This was probably to accommodate tall construction equipment as the Cookinghams left farming for the heavy construction business at that time.
The stone house is owned by "week-enders" but from its external appearance it contains many original features like window placement. It is probably contemporary with the barn. It appears to be a two room center hall house but its two chimneys are internal and evidence of additions in the stone work give it some interesting possibilities. The north section could be defined as a two story bank house with cellar kitchen, a plan favored by Palatines.
We took some basic measurements and documentation should be done on the the barn because it is important to document and study early Dutch/German farms where the original barn and house survive.
Saturday, July 16 A car load of HVVA members (*) attended the "Berne Heritage Days 2005" and toured three Dutch barns in an area of the Helderberg Mountains known as "Beaverdam" or Berne, primarily in western Albany County. It was part of the large Van Rensselaer Patent settled in the early 1700's by poor Palatine German families who squatted on the land.
In 1710, 2,000 Palatines had settled in temporary camps in Ulster and Columbia Counties. It was not until after The Revolution, in 1787, that the Van Rensselaers surveyed their western lands and got the squatters to sign lifetime leases. Normal annual payment was 4 fat fowl, 24 bushels of wheat and one day of service with horse and wagon. It is believed that all the Dutch barns date from this Post War period and after.
The Barn Tour was sponsored by the Dutch Barn Preservation Society and the Berne Historical Project, a group that formed first in 2001 as a volunteer genealogy information web site but in 2002 expanded their objectives to include preserving the history, the houses and barns of the community. They have completed a large survey of their barns, both those still standing and those now gone. They have identified the Dutch barns and we visited four of them. It is this kind of group with a local focus that Computer enhaneed from a photo by Allan Dietz will make The Dutch Farmstead Survey possible. The Berne Project has published a 16-page tour guide including a map, historic background on Berne and individual descriptions and histories of the farms visited.
We began at the William Shultes Dutch barn on the Helderberg Trail which we had visited last year with the DBPS and our friends from The Netherlands, the SHBO farm study group from Arnhem. This is a well preserved early 19th cenury square rule barn owned by Pamela and Ken Malcolm who maintain it in museum condition with a display of tools and artifacts. It contains perhaps original wooden cow stanchions and lots of evidence of the missing horse mangers and hay racks.
The William Shultes barn has one of two kinds of modifications made to the true form Dutch grain barn that allowed for more hay storage. Like the addition on the Cookingham Dutch barn visited yesterday in Dutchess County, NY, this new design narrowed the threshing floor in the back of the barn to create large hay storage bins to either side. Another kind of modification was to double the anchorbeams in the back bay. The lower larger beams allowed for a larger hay mow above, but blocked the passage of a wagon under it. The lighter upper beam held in the loose hay. We would see this Dutch U-barn style in the Dutch barn of Michael Cornell on Schoonmaker Road in Berne.
The framing of this scribe rule barn seems to be late 18th century, although this is based on Mid Hudson Valley barns we are more familiar with. It has gone through a number of changes and now has a side entrance. Evidence of the original harr-hung wagon doors was found on the front anchorbeam. When the entrance was moved to the side of the barn the same.
The framing of this scribe rule barn seems to be late 18th century, although this is based on Mid Hudson Valley barns we are more familiar with. It has gone through a number of changes and now has a side entrance. Evidence of the original harr-hung wagon doors was found on the front anchorbeam. When the entrance was moved to the side of the barn the same type of rail-and-style doors were used, in this case with key-hinges. There was speculation that these doors may have served as the original harr-hung doors but Ev Rau pointed out that the vertical style on one door was made from a reused tapered wagon tongue. This suggests that these doors were built later.
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