State-by-State Barn Survey & Agricultural Study Guide

 

Over the past year, the National Barn Alliance has been compiling a list of resources pertaining to the documentation and study of our nation’s historic barns and agricultural architecture.  This list is organized by state and highlights those resources available to assist in barn survey, identification, and research.   A number of helpful links from federal agencies and academic institutions regarding topics such as barn repair and grant programs, rural heritage conservation, and agricultural history are also provided (see Other Amazing Resources at bottom of page).  We have limited the choices below to SHPOs and other non-profit or educational resources that include information on historic barns and agriculture in America.

Please help us to keep this list accurate and functional. If you discover that a particular link is broken, notice a glaring mistake, or would like to suggest an additional resource, please contact us at president@barnalliance.org.

 

A

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)? BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Alabama Alabama Historical Commission NO
Alaska Alaska State Historic Preservation Office YES, Upon Request Survey database requires permission for access.
Arizona Arizona State Historic Preservation Office
                                       
NO
Arkansas Arkansas Historic Preservation Program
YES, Upon Request

 

C

California California State Parks’ Office of Historic Preservation (SHPO)
NO YES Historic Contexts are available
for specific locations. Grants
are available for surveys.
California-Nevada Barn Alliance
SELECT TYPES
Colorado History Colorado/Colorado Historical Society
SELECT TYPES NO
Connecticut Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Barns Program
YES YES YES Select grants available for
barn preservation

 

D

Delaware Delaware State Historic Preservation Office  YES YES The survey manual requests
that one use the “secondary
building form” to detail barns
and other farm buildings when
a house (primary resource) is present. Several historic
contexts available for agriculture
in the state
University of Delaware, Center for Historic Architecture and Design Digital Library
 YES YES Studies of Agricultural Property
Types and documentation of
notable farmstead & barns

 

F

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Florida Florida Division of Historic Resources
NO

 

G

Georgia Georgia Department of Natural Resources,    Historic Preservation Division (SHPO)
 
YES NO YES

 

H

Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division (SHPO)
 
NO

 

I

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Idaho Idaho Historical Society (SHPO) NO NO
Preservation Idaho’s Idaho Heritage Barns  NO Barns of Southeast Idaho,
Driving Tour available
at bottom of page for
download.  This tour
brochure includes
some info on barn
types in the area
Illinois Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (SHPO)
NO GIS database is searchable
and updates may be sent to
the SHPO by public users
Landmarks Illinois
A report details barn surveys, adaptive re-use, and barn
tours  in the state (last
updated in 2005)
Will County, IL Survey Report
YES YES
Illinois Barn Alliance YES
Indiana Department of Historic Preservation & Archaeology (SHPO) YES NO
Indiana Landmarks Links available to rural
preservation resources
Iowa State Historical Society of Iowa (SHPO) NO
Iowa Barn Foundation
A number of barn tours are
available throughout the state,
but no survey data

 

K

Kansas Kansas Barn Alliance YES
Kansas Historical Society (SHPO)
YES NO see also: Shortridge article on Kansas barns
Kentucky Kentucky Heritage Council (SHPO)  SOME YES (upon request) YES Historic contexts: RHDI Survey
of Marion and Washington
Counties, Agricultural and
Domestic Outbuildings in
Central and Western KY
Preservation Kentucky/Rural Heritage Development Initiative Information on rural heritage development, barn tours, and preservation workshops. Links
to SHPO contexts and forms

 

L

Louisiana Louisiana Division of Historic Preservation (SHPO)  NO There is a “Landscape
Addendum” which appears
to be intended for farmsteads

 

M

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Maine Maine Historical Commission (SHPO)

YES
Maryland Maryland Trust (SHPO) NO
Preservation Maryland (non-profit)  
SOME YES Tobacco Barn preservation 
page (see NRHP nomination
for tobacco barns)
Massachusetts MassachusettHistorical Commission (SHPO)
Preservation Massachusetts
(non-profit)
NO  Preservation Massachusetts
has a program entitled
Preserve Mass Barns
that has a great FAQ list
Michigan Michigan State Historic Preservation Office NO Survey forms are not
accesible online
Michigan Barn & Farmstead Survey Project

YES YES (Sizable download) YES
Michigan Barn Preservation Network 

The MBPN started the Barn
& Farmstead Survey and
continues to provide a
number of resources
for barn preservation
Minnesota Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office
&
Friends of Minnesota Barns
 NO YES
Minnesota Department of Transportation, Cultural Resources Division, Farmsteads Study (1820-1960) YES YES; see Individual Farm Elements A-Z YES Very detailed investigation
into agricultural buildings,
structures, and objects
Mississippi Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Historic Preservation Division (SHPO) NO NO
Missouri Missouri Department of Natural Resources, (SHPO) Yes (limited) YES YES
Missouri Barn Alliance and Rural Network and Century Farm program
Century barn program as
well as links to the SHPO’s
barn survey forms & instructions.
Montana Montana Historical Society (SHPO) NO NO YES NO
Montana Preservation Alliance NO NO NO NO They are promoting a couple
historic barn projects, and
have a book on the state’s
barns available for purchase

 

N

Nebraska Nebraska State Historical Society, State   Historic Preservation Office NO NO NO YES At least one historic context
available  (“Northeast
Nebraska Intensive
Livestock Production in Dixon
and Dakota Counties”), and
MANY county survey reports
online!
Humanities Council, Barn History Project YES NO NO NO Good historical data on a
number of historic barns
in the state
Nevada Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State Historic Preservation Office
NO NO NO NO They do have a Centennial
Ranch and Farm Program.
See also, California-Nevada
Barn Alliance
New Hampshire New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources
NO NO YES NO This state offers specific
grants for barn
preservation.
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Historic Preservation Office
NO
New Mexico New Mexico Historic Preservation Division
NO
New York Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation (SHPO)
NO
New York State Barn Coalition NO ONE Great list of technical bulletins
on barn preservation
North
Carolina
North Carolina Historic Preservation Office
SOME NO NO YES Very informative site on
state’s tobacco barns!
North Dakota State Historical Society of North Dakota, Historic Preservation Office
NO Agricultural context in the
works

 

O

Ohio Ohio Historic Preservation Office (Ohio Historical Society)
NO
Ohio Academy of Science YES  Based on the work of Cultural Geographer and author
Allen G. Noble
Friends of Ohio Barns Yes, upon request Issues of “The Old Barn Post” newsletters have some
information on barn types and historical data
Oklahoma Oklahoma Historic Society (SHPO)

SOME YES
Oregon Oregon State Historic Preservation Office NO State inventory is searchable
and available to the public

 

P

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission (SHPO)  YES; see Agricultural Field Guide YES; see Field Guide’s Agricultural Building Features NO YES One of the best resources
in the country for historic
agricultural properties!
Historic Barn & Farm Foundation of Pennsylvania

YES

 

R

Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission (SHPO) NO YES Barn & farming resources
available on website,
Their historic context on
landscapes addresses
historic farms

 

S

South Carolina South Carolina State Preservation Office (SHPO)
NO A thematic study on tobacco
barns is on file at the SHPO
South Dakota South Dakota State Historic Preservation YES NO YES Homesteading & Agricultural Development context /
6000+ farmstead records

 

T

Tennessee Tennessee Historical Commission (SHPO) Minimal information available
from SHPO website
Texas Texas Historical Commission (SHPO) NO NO NO NO The Atlas allows keyword
searches that reveal data
on a number of barns;
Regional “Heritage Tours”
highlight the agricultural
history of specific areas

 

U

Utah Utah State Historic Preservation Office NO NO NO NO Their building survey form:

 

V

STATE

ORGANIZATION/WEBSITE

DESCRIPTION OF BARN TYPE(S)?

BARN &/OR FARM FEATURE GLOSSARY?

SPECIFIC BARN SURVEY FORM?

STUDIES ON HISTORIC FARM PROPERTIES?

COMMENTS

Vermont Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (SHPO) YES YES The state’s barn census is
operated by the University,
and collects basic information
on historic barns. An historic
context for Agriculture in the
state from 1760 to 1940 is
available at the SHPO
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program

YES YES YES YES Maintains the Barn Census
database & provides clear instructions for surveying
Virginia Department of Historic Resources (SHPO)
Preservation Virginia’s Tobacco Barns Project 
NO The state’s more than 80
Rural Historic Districts
contain a number of historic
farm properties and
contextual data

 

W

Washington Washington Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (SHPO) & Heritage Barn Program
YES YES YES YES Heritage Barn program
provides a number of
educational resources online.  Competitive grants also
available
West Virginia West Virginia Division of Culture & History (SHPO)
NO
Wisconsin Wisconsin Historical Society (SHPO) NO Searchable inventory of historic buildings. Existing resources
may be expanded.
University of Wisconsin Barn Preservation Program 

A Partnership between the
SHPO and Univ. of Wisconsin Extension program.
Wyoming Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office
NO YES Operate a Centennial Farm
program; Historic context
“Ranching, Farming,
Homesteading (1860-1960)”

 

Other AMAZING educational resources:

Other Resources Dutch Barn Preservation Society and Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture
Dutch Barn only NO YES NO
USDA Agriculture in the Classroom, Timeline
Great historical data on the
nation’s agricultural past!
USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Historical Census Publications Historic Census data available providing details on state- and county- level agricultural
production. Includes general
farming assessments, some
maps of production and
distribution, and some history
on certain production patterns
Links to Agricultural Resources on the Web (PA SHPO)
Links to historic farming
resources as well as current resources for
farm & barn preservation
National Agricultural Library of the USDA Variety of resources regarding agriculture in America
Core Historical Literature of Agriculture
Variety of historical primary
sources on agriculture in America
Timber Framers Guild (TGF) glossary Glossary on historic timber-
framing techniques and materials
Google Books search for “Farm Buildings” Excellent free books include:
Farm Buildings by the Breeder’s
Gazette (1916), by Foster and
Carter (1922), by John Wooley
(1946) and several historic
USDA bulletins
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Barn Again! 

Rural Heritage Issues & Rural Conservation Toolkit
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Barn Again! Barn repair bulletins
Barn repair bulletins galore!
USDA Rural Information Center The USDA Rural Information
Center, Rural Preservation
Resources website provides
links to more than fifty full-text
“how to” information guides
and manuals on general and
technical aspects of historic preservation, including specialty resources on historic barns,
farms, bridges, schools,
battlefields, landscapes,
lighthouses, interiors, exteriors, preservation techniques, and
other facts of historic
preservation.