The Historic Lawrence Barn
Hollis, New Hampshire
The Lawrence Barn is a double English-style timber-framed barn
with yet a third addition, one of perhaps a half-dozen still remaining in New
England. The first and oldest barn was built by Josiah Blood in the 1780s, during the time of the American Revolution. Located at 163 Depot Road in
Hollis, New Hampshire, the barn changed owners several times, eventually being acquired by
the Lawrence family in 1907. In 1970, the Lawrence Farm ceased to be a working
Scheduled for demolition in order to make way for a housing development, the Hollis Heritage Commission acquired this unique, antique structure in order to save it for future generations. The barn was dismantled in November of 1999 and was reconstructed on Nichols Field as a community center for use by all Hollis organizations, and to showcase an example of the history of the development of timber framing techniques from medieval times to the late 19th/early 20th century..
The oldest section was built using a medieval technique for timber framing called the "scribe rule," where each joint is cut to precisely fit the abutting piece. Extensive trial assembly is required, as no parts are interchangeable. Its construction required a high level of craft skill and knowledge. In addition, the roof system displays an example of the braced purlin, a term in architecture for the longitudinal timber of a roof that support the common rafters, which may be a signature feature designed by the original joiner.
The second section is another English barn built onto the First English barn. It is estimated that this second structure dates to about 1810. This second frame is also hewn, but uses a simpler joining method known as "square rule" framing where each joint is cut to a uniform layout plane and many small parts are interchangeable. When the second barn was completed, the result was a double English barn.
The third barn, a "Yankee barn," built to house animals, was added around the early 20th century.
The Lawrence Barn, as it stood in 1999,
at 163 Depot Road in Hollis, New Hampshire.
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