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The Agricultural Reform Movement and Barn Building in Cumberland County
September 16 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Presented by Jerry Clouse
The barns featured on the 2023 tour reflected the tour’s theme, The Agriculture Reform Movement and Barn Building in Cumberland County. Reform advocates of the 19th-century sought better farming methods, including crop rotation and various fertilizers to rejuvenate the soil. Their goal was for the farm to operate more efficiently with well-ordered agricultural complexes. Barns were to be designed for the ease of labor by the farmer, and specialized outbuildings were to be placed for the convenience of the farm’s workforce. This theme will be highlighted by HBFF Board member and tour leader Jerry Clouse in his power-point presentation and is documented as well in the 75-page, copiously illustrated guidebook released for the tour. The guidebook provides context of the 19th-century ag reform movement in Cumberland County and its influence in the building and re-building of barns and farmsteads in various locations across the county. The tour book features both Schweitzer and Standard Pennsylvania type barns, ranging in construction dates from 1839 to 1935. Examples of log, stone, brick and timber-frame barns are shown, each illustrating a different aspect of ag reform. The 2023 tour barns exemplify the master framing skills of the county’s barn builders as they strove to better meet the changing needs of 19th and early 20th-century farmers. While each barn displays specific features that help define their character, they are all indeed lasting testaments to their versatility and durability. A longtime member of CCHS, Clouse is an architectural historian. He is also an author who has written on other local topics such as potteries, iron making and meetinghouses.
Purchase a copy of the book here.