Vermont Barn Census

Preliminary Research - 2009

Grafton, Vermont
Agricultural Narrative

Barn Images

Historic Maps

Historic Images


 Stone Foundation Red Wooden Barn, Date On Home Indicates The Site Has Been Occupied Since 1792

Grafton is a pristine town in Windham County, Vermont. Nestled in the Green Mountains, the terrain still bears a resemblance to what settlers would have found in the 1780s when they first came to the area.  Subsistence farming sustained the community until Merino sheep came to the US in the early 1800s and started a major wool boom in Vermont. As the price of wool eventually dropped off by the mid-1800s, the community adapted from sheep raising and milling forest products to dairy production. The town was producing so much milk that in 1892 the first cheese co-op was formed.  Unfortunately, this early co-op did not survive long, but cheese making was resumed in the 1960s when the Windham Foundation helped to form the Grafton Cheese Factory. This foundation also helped to restore and rebuild many of the structures within the Town of Grafton and the surrounding area to what one might have seen over a hundred years ago.
Hundreds of barns still dot the landscape surrounding Grafton.  Some of these barns are easily recognizable forms, however over time some have been changed and adapted to their present uses.  For this project we conducted a windshield survey of Grafton. This is by no means a complete or conclusive listing of all barns within the limits of the town, rather this is intended be a starting place to help with local efforts to document the features of the town's barns and their histories. This is also part of a much bigger effort to document the barns and elsewhere in Vermont and to help to track the rate at which we are losing these important structures.  The following is a link to a page that maps where the barns photographed for this project are located

Franklin, VTDerby, VTBrownington, VTHinesburg, VTHuntington, VTRichmond, VTNorwich, VTHartford, VTDorset, VTManchester, VTTownshend, VTGrafton, VT

This preliminary research about barns and farm buildings in thirteen Vermont towns is offered as a public service to assist local volunteers with their efforts to learn more about the agricultural heritage of these communities. It is hoped that additional information on the history and features of these barns will be submitted by volunteers through the Vermont Barn Census project. The historical research and preliminary field documentation was conducted during the fall 2009 semester by Emily Morgan enrolled in the Researching Historic Structures and Sites course at University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program with the assistance of local volunteers as part of the Vermont Barn Census, a statewide project of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program, Historic Windsor’s Preservation Education Institute, Save Vermont Barns, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and the Preservation Trust of Vermont. Funding support provided in part by a Preserve America grant through the National Park Service to the State of Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.