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Wellington Barn

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c. 1840, c. 1850, Ebenezer Wellington. 99 Ranger Rd.

This one-and-a-half-story barn, now remodeled into offices for the Green Mountain National Forest, is exemplary of the evolution of agricultural buildings and of a special variation in nineteenth-century building traditions. Like many barns in the region, here are two barns joined together in the late nineteenth century to provide a stabling area for a large dairy herd. The northern portion was a typical 36 × 50–foot Yankee barn with wide wagon doors in its gable end facing the road and with a haymow on one side and stables on the other. The southern portion, measuring 25 × 75 feet and sitting alongside the road, was originally a large sheep barn, a survivor of the type common during Vermont's sheep-raising boom in the second third of the nineteenth century. This barn is also noteworthy for its extensive use of naturally curved timber in its frame. It has a two-legged wall post made from a natural tree crotch and five tie beams, each with curved limbs used as upper and lower braces into the wall posts. Common in medieval Europe, the use of timber in its natural form for framing is rare in the Americas after the seventeenth century, although there are a number of nineteenth-century agricultural buildings in the Rochester area that use the technique. Ebenezer Wellington raised several hundred sheep on this farm from 1856 to about 1875 and, according to oral tradition, was the builder of a sugarhouse with curved timbers on an adjacent farm. It seems likely that he built the sheep barn as well as other area examples that have such timbers. In 1995, another sheep barn with distinctive curved timbers was demolished due to its altered and poor condition. Since then the Forest Service moved these remaining barns back from the road and rehabilitated them as offices and a cultural interpretation center open to the public.

Writing Credits

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson


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Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Wellington Barn", [Rochester, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 352-352.

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