ARCHIVED August 2023. Please visit perintonhistoricalsociety.org for current information.

Barns & Carriage Houses

Perinton Barns and Carriage Houses

When the Historic Structure Committee of the Society began working on barns and carriage houses, it was to document the carriage houses and light farming barns located within the Village boundaries. There are over 80 structures in the Village and many in the Town.  We were greatly interested in their history and purpose.

Our research took us in several directions. We read Barns of the Genesee Country by Daniel Fink and a number of other books and source materials. We transcribed and analyzed the 1850 U.S. Agricultural Census for Perinton to familiarize ourselves with the facts that were important to mid – 19th century farmers. Then we took a trip to Brockport to learn from the Historical Society there about their barn survey, and last fall we participated in the Barns of Pittsford tour. We are now hooked on the history of barns, both urban and rural, their roots, their builders and their meaning for us.

We have looked at threshing floors, hayracks, hay tracks, granaries and haymows. We have learned and can define words like treenails (pronounced trunnels), hand hewn, timber framing, purlins, bank barns, gambrel roofs, stanchions, hill barns, swing beams, cribbing and barn raisings. We learned the difference between English, Dutch and German barns. Does it matter? Yes!

Having progressed way beyond our original plan, we have joined a number of individuals across the state who are as curious as we are, wanting to know what these old barns can tell us about the people who raised them and the role barns have played over the years.

In the process of surveying that Village we also discovered that many of our residents value as we do, these unique structures. See the Tale of Two Barns article for a story of barn restoration. 

Part of our search to learn of the history of origins of the barns and carriage houses has taken us to visiting barns.

Here are just a few:

 

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Barn at 74 Roselawn Avenue

This small but oh so wonderful structure was probably used as a horse barn. There is enough horse evidence: hay drops, a large loft area, hay door, stall paneling on the first floor and a large horse door at the rear along with sufficient property for pasture to support that statement. 

There are no horse windows or stalls in evidence now. There is a workshop area in the loft area dating from the early 20th century, with the tools and workbench still displayed. The house dates to the 1880's and the barn probably shortly after that. The present owners have recently restored and refurbished the structure.

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Barn at 53 Roselawn Avenue 

We know quite a bit about this barn and thanks to a curious reporter at the Herald newspaper we know the exact date that it was built. At some point after that date Mr. Silver constructed a smaller addition to the east and stabled horses there. Horse windows are still visible there as is the hay drop in the loft.

Mr. Silver was a funeral director and housed both horses and the hearse in the barn. Because the hearse carriage was so tall it was necessary to cut out a section of the front wall to accommodate the hearse. If you look closely you can see the cutout above the present door.

There are a number of interesting openings at the rear of the building, some look like small doors. There are similar openings on other barns in the area but so far we have not been able to determine their purpose.

In the front of this home are two hitching posts and a mounting block inscribed Silver. The house and barn were designated local landmarks in 2016.

     

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8 West St. Carriage House

This barn is the template for 19th century carriage houses in the village of Fairport.  The original horse stalls are intact as are hay drops in the loft, the hay door at the front and the large horse door on the west side which would have been used to access the side yard and pasture.There is a grain bin hidden under the loft stairs.

It was recently restored and refurbished by the present owners and remains a perfect example of a structure that was essential to everyday life at the turn of the century.

A mounting block/carriage step relocated from another village property can be found in the front tree lawn area.

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Bank Barn
- 1 Green Ridge Road

This barn is a priceless historic structure. It is a classic English bank barn built in the early 1800's. The house dates to approximately 1820 and we can speculate that the barn came along not too long afterward. 

A six horse stall addition to the right was added at some later date. The barn sits on a rise with a rubble stone foundation and has opposing entrances, upper and lower. The upper portion shows a three bay barn construction, the center bay was used for threshing, the other bays for hay storage and a tin lined grain bin. The lower portion, set into the hill, housed livestock, primarily cows.

The barn was constructed using the post and beam technique. The support beams through the center of the barn are 10x10 and hand hewn.

The hay track located on the ceiling center beam is visible and intact as are the original round log roof support beams.  At one time there was a silo to the direct left of the doors and a water pump to the right.

     

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20 Hulburt Avenue

This barn is constructed of early 19th century hand hewn posts and beams. Old vertical siding can be seen on the interior walls. The house dates to 1875 and the barn tentatively to 1900.

We suggest that an old barn in the area was being torn down around that time and the then homeowner took advantage of the opportunity to salvage this very sturdy material for his barn. The sliding doors are quite old and could have come from the earlier structure. At one time the floor was made up of the round log roof rafters from the earlier barn. Nothing was wasted in those days!

 

     

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543 Jefferson Avenue

What is it? The house that goes with the structure dates to the 1870's but we have no date for the barn. This is a large structure that housed some kind of activity. A possibility would be a produce processing enterprise or it may have been used to store farm equipment.

According to an earlier resident, the house on the property served as a tenant house on a large farm. Lauren and Delia Knapp occupied the house from approximately 1920 until 1980. Lauren was a WW I veteran. The present owner (2012), Gene Benoit, a retired Social Studies teacher in the Penfield School District, developed an historical study about the Knapp's and the War based on their letters and life story.

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30 West St.  Carriage Barn

The house at 30 West Street dates to 1875 and the barn can be seen on the 1885 Beck and Pauli Lithograph. The main framing is constructed of hand hewn posts and beams which would predate the house. It could have been salvaged or moved from another location.

There are round windows in the gable ends, two owl holes on the north side and a large support beam through the mid center, all indications that the barn is quite old. 4 horse stall windows remain of 5 and there is evidence of cribbing on the interior of wall. During the 1960's the barn was moved north from the property line and raised onto a cinder block foundation. There is a mounting block/carriage step in front on the tree lawn.

     

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29 West Street

This barn/carriage house is impressive because it looks today just as it looked in 1900. The structure to the right was added to the original structure at the left at an undetermined date. The roof of the early building is visible in the loft of the addition.

There are hay drops and hay doors in both structures although horse stall evidence is seen only in the addition. The original sliding doors are intact. There are a number of small openings at the rear, some for chickens according to the homeowner. The present homeowner has refurbished and reinforced the barn with additional structural bracing and foundation work. A village gem.

       


               


               


               
                 
                 
                 
                 

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Other great barns:

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Carriage house - 141 West Ave.

This carriage house is a wonderful example of Gothic Revival. It also have Italianate features the mirror the home built by William Dobbin in 1875. Both are designated landmarks.

   

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11 W. Church St. barn

Documents indicate that this barn is post and beam with a gambrel roof. It is believed that David Hines used the barn for his harness making in the 1830's. The barn and house are designated landmarks.


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DeLand barn - 185 N. Main St.

This barn is likely a 4 bay English type barn typical in this area between 1790 and 1850. It is rectangular with a gable roof with doorways located on the long side. The doors are opposite each other on the north and the south side, indicating that this may have been a threshing bay. It has Italianate details that mirror the home. Both are designated landmarks.

   

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Potter Memorial

The carriage house at 53 W. Church St. was likely built at the same time as the home, circa 1858. The property is a designated landmark.

   

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Kraai carriage house at 84 S. Main St.

In the late 1980's, exterior clapboards and the main doors were replaced and the floors refinished in the loft. The interior hasn't changed much. The doors move on huge hinges and the horse stalls still have small windows with a view toward the north. The barn and the home are designated landmarks.

   

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Carriage House at 36 West St.

This unique carriage house sits behind a Shingle style home. It also has a mounting block/carriage step with the name "Duncan" inscribed on it.

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ARCHIVED August 2023. Please visit perintonhistoricalsociety.org for current information.