Dating back to 1887, the Barn at Rooted Farmstead supported a dairy farm operation up until the 1980s, along with five additional out buildings which remain on the property. Following the dairy farm the land was a family farm, raising sheep for a local restaurant. Later, the Barn became home to horses, which was also when the pasture was leveled for use as a riding ring.
The type of construction is what's called Bank Barn. More specifically a "Class II Standard Pennsylvania Barn Type B, Open-Forebay Standard Barn" as classified in the "The Pennsylvania Barn" by Robert F. Ensminger. These are most common in Western and Central Pennsylvania between 1810-1890.
The original stone foundation was likely dry stacked, meaning there is no mortar to bind the stones together.Through the years it became necessary to mortar the joints, which were repointed and stabilized as part of our restoration. Cinder blocks were used to build the milk house in the 1950s.
The original man door on the upper level has no external access. According to the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission, these provide cross ventilation and allow for hay to be tossed down to the yard. During our restoration, the hay door construction was replicated to add an additional door to serve as windows for ventilation.
The original post and beams, most of which remain, are hand hewn meaning the wood (primarily Hemlock) was carved to shape by hand, without the aid of a sawmill or other machinery. The original joint construction is primarily "Mortise & Tenon." A slot or hole is cut into one member where the tenon from another member is inserted. Wooden pegs are inserted through the joint to bind both pieces together. No nails, no bolts, no glue. When joints were replaced as part of the restoration, mortise and tenon and wooden pegs were used to the greatest extent practical.
The original floor boards in the center two bays are true 2" thick boards. The outer bays were constructed with thinner wood planks, likely because they supported hay bales rather than machinery or other heavy, live loads. As part of the restoration, thicker wooden planks were installed match the center two bays.
Our next phases will focus on the lower level and out buildings as well as restoring the land itself into a working family farm. Join us on Facebook and Instagram to follow our journey!
"What does the future hold for these magnificent vernacular structures? Suburban expansion continues to consume open spaces and to encroach up farms...Farm houses, barns, and outbuildings continue to fall to the blades of bulldozers...Can this wave of change be managed, to protect the vernacular landscapes that connect us with our past and help us define our national origins?" - Robert F. Ensminger