Open Barns Tour and Lecture


            On Saturday, October 1, 2005 from 1-4:30 p.m., Windsor Historical Society presents a rare opportunity for the public to tour a selection of historic Windsor barns.  Starting at 1:00 at the Historical Society with a slide lecture on “Farm Work in Eastern Connecticut at the Turn of the Century”, historian Bruce Clouette will trace the farmer’s year from spring plowing to winter ice-cutting using evocative Connecticut photographs from the 1900-1910 period. 

Following the lecture, maps with driving directions and information will be handed to participants who are free to explore four Windsor barns in any order they choose.  The barns include two on the property of Lon and Jane Pelton, who have reconverted them for office space, storage, and an art loft.  Recycling is a passion for the Peltons and the tour will offer participants the opportunity to see many of Lon’s sculptural works formed from agricultural and industrial fragments.  Bob and Dorothy McAllister’s barn is notable for the tin-sided water holding tank at the top.    A gravity- fed system inside provided water to all of the barn animals.  A grain box and chute and a variety of trap doors were used to get hay and grains to the farm animals.  Methane, a by-product from the cow manure was piped into the main house and used to power gas lamps inside.

In the Poquonock section of town, a magnificent post and beam barn owned by the Carmon family will be on view.  The barn was built by John A. DuBon, the first person to cultivate shade tobacco in Connecticut.  Stories are told that DuBon mounted the stairs to the cupola frequently to keep an eye on his farmhands as they worked the land which extended all the way west to Poquonock Avenue.

Participants will have a rare opportunity to get inside tobacco sheds owned by the Brown family.  The Browns have been raising cigar tobacco since the 1860’s and the land is now being farmed by the sixth generation of Browns.  The tobacco curing process will be explained and participants will have the chance to see the vents at the top and sides of our area’s distinctive tobacco sheds, steaming machines and burners which are used to control the drying process.  If weather permits, participants will see a barn filled with almost-cured tobacco leaves hanging from laths. 

The cost of this program is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students, and $8 for WHS

 members.  Tickets may be picked up before or the program or at the door.  Program will be limited to the first 100 participants.




Location:  Windsor Historical Society

      96 Palisado Avenue

     Windsor, CT 06095  


Tel:  860-688-3813

Fax:  (860) 687-1633




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Copyright © 2006 by Windsor Historical Society of Windsor, Connecticut, Inc.