College Barn

Built 1868.

Plans and specifications for a model barn have been procured, and the sum of $7,000 appropriated for its construction. The stone and' much of the lumber will be taken from the lands of the College and hauled to the location selected, on the central ridge of the farm, about forty rods south of the dormitory, the present winter. The barn is intended to stand on the western slope of the ridge and to be 100×50 feet, with posts 28 feet high. The upper, or threshing floor, is to be ten feet above the sills and entered by a bridge from a wall fourteen feet east of the building. The lower story contains stables, root-room, grainary, and feeding floor, with bay for hay, which is to be thrown down from the upper floor. In the second story is the tool-room and corn-house, and underneath the whole of the main building a cellar for manure. The barn stands east and west, with an ell on the west end, extending south from the building 100 feet, for a shelter to the stock and for storage. On the east end of the barn is another ell, 30×20 feet and two stories in height, with horse stable and carriage room above and piggery below. , The entire structure will hold about 175 tons of hay.

The College Barn, sometimes known as the model barn, was built in 1868 and altered in 1889 and initially cost $9000. The building contains the specimens used for illustration in the department of agriculture in the College. For this purpose there are typical specimens of farm stock, representing the different breeds of horned cattle and swine, a valuable stallion, and a small flock of sheep. The apparatus for farm work is very complete. The building is so neatly kept as to be attractive even to persons who have no special connection with agricultural affairs. In the management of the college farm it is intended to illustrate the systems and methods best suited to the conditions of this locality, and in all the operations the possible educational effect is kept prominently in view. While labor on the farm is not compulsory, not a little is performed by the students, and every opportunity is given to any who specially desire instruction in any particular fine of farm work to obtain it. The house just to the south of the College Barn cost $4000 was occupied by the superintendent of the college farm and his assistants.

In 1890, tuberculosis having gained a foothold in the college herd, Dr. James B. Law of Cornell, the most noted veterinarian in the country, was employed to make an examination of the college herd and spent several days examining every animal in the most thorough manner then known to science. After his examination, Dr. Law recommended the slaughter of two animals only, and it was hoped that there would be no further serious trouble. This hope was not realized, and Professor Brooks in his farm report for 1892, in a letter addressed to the president, urged the abandonment of the old barn and the construction of a new one.

The appropriation for the new barn and the moving of the farm house (now Blaisdell House) was made by the Legislature in 1893. Construction of the barn and stables was begun the same year and completed in the summer of 1894, the alumni dinner at commencement of that year being held on the floor of the new barn, into which the new-made hay had just begun to be stored. The stables were not completed until later in the fall. The barn and stables were regarded as the most complete and convenient, in many ways, of any in the country at that time. They were completely destroyed by fire in November, 1905. The foundations were not materially damaged and the barn and stables were rebuilt in 1906. A second fire which occurred August 15, 1908, destroyed the storage barn, but did not damage the cow stable. The storage part of the barn was rebuilt in 1909. June 18th of 1894 the old college barn was burned, the fire supposed to be of incendiary origin.

From Brief history of the Massachusetts agricultural college, semicentennial, 1917 by Caswell, Lilley B. (Lilley Brewer), 1848- https://archive.org/details/briefhistoryofma00casw/page/38/mode/2up

c/college_barn.txt · Last modified: 2021/02/19 11:29 by kay
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