No. 23 The Asphar Barn


Barn Type : English barn

Built about : 1860

This 30’ x 40’ English barn has an unusual design: 2-½ levels, gable roof, vertical siding, sliding doors and a large projecting, gable roofed enclosure (hay hood) for the derrick and pulley from which a hay hook lifted loose hay from a wagon at ground level for storage in the loft.
The farm was settled about 1795 by the Pingrey family. This barn illustrates the ravages of time to a historically significant site and complex of agricultural buildings that included three barns: In the late 1970’s, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation noted that this was “one of the finest farm complexes in Mount Holly. Consisting of a house and a large collection of well-preserved barns and out

buildings, … characteristic of the size and type of living arrangement that characterized Mount Holly life when it was an agriculturally based economy. The house … exhibit[ed] the highest style and craftsmanship among a variety of similar, cottage plan, vernacular house types found throughout town”.
By the mid 2000’s, the barns showed signs of neglect following the end of local dairy farming. Photos show some of the farm complex:
1. The white barn attached to house was demolished at demand by insurance company due to perceived fire risk;
2. The next barn (general farming and pigs) was pulled down due to collapsing state;
3. The barn to the left – a horse barn – was built over unstable ground and with roof damage allowing water gradually deteriorated and fell in a severe storm.
The second picture of the farm complex shows the dairy barn with hay hood and the horse barn to the left of the picture.
The dairy barn with its unusual hay hood – said to be only one of two in the state – was restored by the work of volunteers supervised by a preservation consultant and some funds raised by the Mount Holly Barn Preservation Association. (This effort inspired the Rut land Herald to name the project one of the highlights of the year 2006.)
Ongoing work is needed for most barns, especially for roofs and foundations – in particular for English barns built directly on the ground or on loose field stones.
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