Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Celebrate Chickens!

In anticipation of the coming holiday, today is all about poultry.

Long long ago, back in the twentieth century, there were a LOT of chickens in Connecticut. Our volunteer barn crews have sent in more than 20 chicken coops so far - here's a small one in Canterbury.

Sad to say, most of them are no longer in use for poultry.

They range from neat and trim, to empty shells like this in Ashford.

Some old barns were converted to chicken coops by the addition of extra little windows, like this one in Stafford.

The purpose-built coop is most often two or even three stories with a nearly flat roof, and long rows of windows.
This one in Ellington has enough room for 22,000 chickens.

Most of the chicken coops we've seen so far are in the northeast part of the state,

but here is Brenda's Silver Lace Wyandotte, who lays her eggs in Bethany.

Check out our web site - search under "Historic Use" and you'll be able to browse the chicken coops.

Photos: T. Ells, J. Szalay, P. Niessen, C. Seifert, C. Hitchcock

Monday, November 2, 2009

Falling leaves - perfect for barn-spotting

The days are getting shorter, the leaves are falling fast - that means the best time of year is coming for barn photography!

It may sound crazy but once those beautiful red and orange leaves are down, we get a better view of the barns themselves, and the low sun angles are super for good pictures.

Here's a connected barn complex in Woodbury that is only revealed when the leaves are off.

At this bank barn in Beacon Falls, the horses enjoy the warmth of the sun - they probably don't care about the dramatic backdrop!

In case you're getting tired of barn red, take a look at this rare octagonal barn on the Woodbury-Southbury town line - a treat for the winter tourist.
If you like taking pictures, we're planning our next workshop for volunteers - it's a chance to join the crew of barn surveyors. The shoreline towns from Groton to Old Lyme are our target audience but all are welcome.

Learn about the history of Connecticut barns (with lots of pictures) and how you as a volunteer can help find and document barns throughout the state. It's on November 19, 6 pm at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. Call Historic Barns at 203.562.6312 for more details.