Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Secret Lives of Objects: The Main Barn

By: Erin Richardson, Curator
The Farmers' Museum's Main Barn was built in 1918.  The endeavor was funded by Edward Severin Clark, and was intended to be  a model dairy farm.  It was called the Cow Palace by Cooperstonians during its construction.

In working on the new online collection project, I scanned the Star Line supply catalog from 1919. Star Line produced barn plans, kits and milking parlor equipment and furnishings.  The catalog is extensive.  Imagine my surprise when I opened to a page featuring Edward Clark's barn.  A whole section of the catalog features details about farms using Star Line equipment.

Here's a photo of our barn from the catalog:

Here's the Main Barn from Plowline: Images of Rural New York. The photograph was taken by Dante Tranquille in 1952:

Here's the Main Barn today:

Within the Star Line Catalog,  I discovered that The Farmers' Museum has a sister stone barn that is now a museum. Cooperstonians had no idea what they were talking about when they called Clarks' barn a cow palace.  THIS is a cow palace. 
The Anna Dean Farm website describes Barn No. 3:  O. C. Barber used Star Line Equipment on the Anna Dean Farm exclusively. This photo of Barn No 3 taken looking north west shows this mammoth barn just after construction. This photo was the pride of the Star Line Equipment catalog, and this catalog lists the barn as costing over $1,000,000.

Barber's barn is now part of the Barberton Historical Society in Barberton, Ohio (located in Barberton County, of course!)

If you would like to browse through the whole Star Line catalog (click the small .pdf file link at the top) and see other impressive barns, you can visit the Online Collection.


Tim said...

Thanks for posting some history of the main barn! I didn't find any on the official Farmer's Museum website. It's the most impressive structure on site.

ceebeephoto said...

This is great! Do you know who built the barn? It was funded by one of the Clarks, but I was curious who built it.

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