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
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.