We’re heading into the thick of winter now but here’s a nice “summer-y” post to remind you of our Village. In August a hay barrack was added to the farmstead site out in the Village. Hay barracks are open air shelters created to store hay. The decision to add a hay barrack to the farmstead was an easy one – we needed to store our hay and keep it dry without the expense of building a barn. A hay barrack, with its simple yet eye-catching construction, fits our village well.
Hay barracks were once very common in New York State but now only a few remain. They have roots in the 17th century Dutch settlement of New York State, but were built well into the 19th century. Hay barracks, while rooted in Dutch culture, were quickly adopted by all settlers of New York. The structure consists of four or more large wooden posts supporting a moveable thatched roof. The roof must be movable in order for it to provide the most efficient protection of the hay stored beneath it. These structures could be permanent or portable depending on the needs of the farmer.
The hay barrack at BNHV was constructed by our seasonal historic interpreters under the supervision of Scott Schotz, our Historic Building and Grounds Manager. Scott framed the roof with hand-hewn logs and thatched it with rye straw. Four large hand-hewn posts support the movable roof. This hay barrack will be used to store hay and other field crops until a barn can be built.
We look forward to adding to the farmstead little by little each year until we have a fully functional farmstead. Click here if you are interested in contributing to our future farmstead site!