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The Eli Whitney barn, built in 1816, was the centerpiece of the Whitney farm. It was the focus of agricultural activities which supplied the boarding house kitchen and provided shelter for the draft animals used at the Armory. Whitney's friend Silliman considered it "a model of convenience and even taste and beauty," and further described the unique features of its design:
It is perfectly characteristic of Mr. Whitney that his attention was directed to the mangers for his cattle, and to their fastenings. The latter are so contrived, by means of a small weight at the end of the halter, that an animal could always move his head with perfect facility, but could not draw out the rope so as to become entangled in it, nor could he easily waste his hay. The fastenings of the doors, as well as all the other appendages and accommodations are equally ingenious.
That Whitney took an active role in the design and construction of the non-Armory buildings on his site is thus well established. The need for housing to accommodate his workforce was obvious given the distance of the Armory from any other suitable lodgings. The farm was necessary to provide food for the unmarried workers and probably supplemented the gardens of the married workers living on Armory Street.
June 2, 2012 Eli Whitney Barn Day
music, art, exploring and dance.
Eli Whitney constructed a magnificent barn to stable his Armory's draft animals in 1816. It remains an architectural treasure. On Saturday, June 2nd, The Eli Whitney Museum will celebrate this remarkable structure and its history with a festival of music, dance, craft and art. Fun for the whole family from 3pm – 9pm. Suggested donation: $10.
3 – 5 pm
• A Contra-dance for children with Bill Fischer and Mickey Koth.
• Making Oxen
• A tour of the Artist-in-Residence studio.
• Musto/Hooker dedication.
• Quilting demonstration & display by Willow Ann Sirch.
• Walks of the RWA grounds – Tom Hudak.
• Music for Young Ears: Robert Messore.
• A community picnic (bring your own.)
• Music by The Heath Sisters, Alice Anne Harwood & Robert Messore.
7 – 9 pm
• Contra Dance with Bill Fischer and the Fiddleheads.
Bill Fischer: contra dance caller, Music Director.
Eliza McLellan: Curator.
Karen Lenahan: for more information, 203.777.1833. email@example.com
The celebration will honor our partners in a year of restoration:
The State of CT, Dept of Economic & Community Development
Representatives Peter Villano, Cam Staples; Senator Joe Crisco, Senator Martin Looney
The Town of Hamden
Charney Architects, Nathan Pudlin, project manager
The CT Trust for Historic Preservation
Susan Clinard, artist-in-residence.
Ox Wing restoration: JA Rosa, principal restoration contractor and Brian Casey, Contractor
Eagle Scout Projects: Cameron Simpson, Ben Dringoli.