Barn Basics:

Barns are important in Hollis. Nearly every house whether on a large farm or in town had one.  This is a basic introduction and some ideas as to where to go if the reader is interested in learning more.

Many photos have been taken of barns both inside and out. See the Barn Reconnaissance Survey at Town Hall done in 2000 by the Heritage Commission in which every barn like structure in Hollis was photographed.

See Heritage Commission extremely detailed documentation and books of photographs at Town Hall on the Lawrence Barn, which is an example of the evolution of timber framing. See also, the Heritage Commission measured drawings of the small (likely at one time blacksmith) shop on Pepperell Road built about the same time. The documentation on the shop and the dismantled barn is invaluable in understanding timber framing and the early use of medieval timber framing techniques as well as appreciating the beautiful craftsman ship which can be seen in other barns in town. You may have an antique treasure in your yard.

Introductory Books on Barns:

Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings, Thomas Durant Visser, which includes shops and every piggeries. 

Available at Town Hall in the Historic District Commission Reference Library.

Storehouse of Time, Historic Barns of the Northeast, Philip C. Ziegler is a good reference, which explains the difference between English Barns (like the Lawrence Barn) and dairy banked barns, of which Hollis has many, and Field and Hay Barns as well as other hill barns. 

Contact: The Timber Framers Guild of North America in Keene and Jack Sobon were extremely helpful with John Butler in determining what and how to document the Lawrence Barn

Terms Used in Barn Architecture:

Bents, Bays, Collar, Knee Wall, Knee Brace, Strut, Girts, Posts, Plate, Rafter, Purlin, Ridge,

Collar Tie, Joinery,

Marriage Marks,

Door – sliding, Hung Swing, Double Hung Swing, Upper Hay Door

Windows – Glazed, Fixed, Mullioned, Transom

Sheathing, Vertical, Clapboard, Board & Batten, Shiplap

Foundation stone, rubble, squared, pilings

Timber – type of wood of individual members, boxed, halved, round faced, bark remaining

Hand Hewn – regular scoring, broad axed, adzed, planed

Sawn – pit sawn up & down, circular, band

Riven – split and dressed

Pegs – diameter, riven, square, type of wood

Nails wrought, cut, cut with wrought heads, wire (modern) – where used

Mortise and tenon, Gunstock post

Scribe, pencil, chisel, race knife

Thickness of walls, floors, layers

Reference face -which side of interior is used

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