1850 English Barn

Built originally about 1850 in the historic Mohawk Valley of New York state, the “Reese Brothers Barn” is an unusual example of the transformation that took place in American agriculture during the Industrial Revolution of the mid-nineteenth century. Before this period of time, American farmers grew varied and diverse crops, but with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and its associated mass distribution of products, farmers began to specialize in the crops they raised. The architecture of their barns also became specialized, with led to larger barns like this one with innovative framing to allow for longer and longer clear spans and open areas. The timbers were hewn by hand with the broad axe and adze from massive virgin hemlock trees. They were then joined together using the ancient method of mortise and tenon joinery. This barn’s unique and innovative truss system allowed for forty-foot-long clear spans under which the Reese Brothers could store enormous amounts of loose hay. A copy of an etching of the Reese Barn in Florida, NY is shown here. Note the barn has cupolas in the etchings which was typical at the time. Otherwise the barn looks very similar to the reconstructed barn at the 10xXx Ranch.

The barn is an “English” design which emphasizes few internal columns but long trusses (which allowed a large open area). The barn trusses also have steel tension rods to keep the trusses acting as huge but lightweight beams. In 2000 the Reese barn was carefully dismantled from its original setting in New York and then moved and restored at the 10xXx Ranch to its original condition. The barn represents one of the finest examples of 19th-century rural American architecture, now preserved for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The 1850 English barn is located next to the Hill Creek house and near the bubbling and sometimes roaring Hill Creek.