A.P. Charles on his "Convenient Barn"

 Thanks to the research of Douglas Little, we can now share the actual description of the barn at Walnut Grove Farm in terms of its builder and first owner, A.P. Charles.  Douglas Little found this description in Model Farms and their Methods, edited by Samuel T.K. Prime, and published by A.Knobel & Company in 1881.  It was copyrighted by Richard R. Donnelley in 1880.  Below is an early picture of the barn.



“A Convenient Barn”

My barn, which I think is a very good one, is made as follows:

Outside posts sixteen feet; forty-eight feet from ground to comb of roof.  Forty-eight feed by ninety-six in size, on stone piers three feet at base and sloping to the top on both sides to eighteen inches, with basement eight feed in front and seven and one-half in the rear.  The front center pier is up and fastened to joists, which are easily dropped in bad weather.  The east half of the barn is stalled for feeding cattle.  The width of the stalls is two feed ten inches with feed trough and hay rack.  The hay is thrown into the rack from above.  The corn crib is below so arranged with derrick as to save a great deal of labor in unloading.  I have stalls for thirty head of cattle.  Each stall has a door which is hung and fastened to two by four oak posts with hook and staple, into which I turn my cattle loose.  By the use of a rope and pulleys the doors are raised up to joists and made fast and can be laid down in the same way; they have a spring lock which fastens itself.  My yards and buildings are paved with stone six inches in thickness, with a ten inch stone floor under the cattle giving a fall of four inches.

The west side of the basement is used for stock cattle, has tow large hay racks thirty-two feed in length running across the building.  The hay is through into the racks from the floor above and the cattle here run loose.  There are eight windows in the basement and four large doors in the rear of the building to drive in on the floor.  There are six small rolling doors in front over the basement or first floor, and one in the southeast corner of the end, with a window over each door.  There are six shutters or blinds in each gable.  The barn has a hip roof with six dormer windows in the roof; three on either side.  It has a large cupola, built eight cornered, with a square base, and wind-mill on the top of the same, running a feed mill on the first floor, with a shaft out to the well, twenty four feet from the barn.  I collect all the rain-water and run it into the well.