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on these pages Miscellaneus Actually it was the Dutch colonists who brought the four pole structure with the liftable thatched roof (hay barn) or hay barrack to America. So the United States is an "over-seas department" for this site. A lot of hay barrack friends are contributing to these pages and also to the right use of the english language.We will try to keep an historical way of presenting the information; from the haying activities of the Native Americans to the present day vern


Dictionary on                       hayIntroduction on these pages                      Miscellaneus

We will start with the first information of the oldest inhabitants of the USA and of the Dutch who founded New Amsterdam. Then we will explore the Americans who are now restoring:

Indian Barnes

New Amsterdam and Long Island History

The first Dutch four pole barn in the USA

hay frame_small.JPG

Rebuilding a haybarn   in 2000
Preservation Construction Section 
Landis Valley Museum 
2451 Kissel Hill Road 
Lancaster, PA 17601 
Phone 717/569-0401 ext. 221      
FAX (717) 560-2147


Virtual tour in the history of New Amsterdam

The last hay barn in New Jersey

hay roof raised.jpg


Indian Barnes

"They make heaps like molehills, each about two and a half feet from the others, which they sow or plant in April with Maize, in each heap five or six grains,'' wrote Isaack de Rasieres, a Dutchman who visited an Indian community in western Long Island in the early 1600s.

When the English arrived on the East End in the early 1640s, they discovered another feature of Indian agricultural practices -- deep holes covered with woven mats that were used to store food during winter. The English called them ``Indian barnes'' and they disliked them because their livestock frequently fell through the mat roofs.

The old fields and villages of the Indians are long gone and memories have faded. But there are treasures of the past. One of them is a photograph taken in 1900 that shows a Shinnecock man named John Henry Thompson, dressed for the photographer in a three-piece suit. He is standing alongside a ``barne,'' he has just made. It is covered with grass and sticks.


The first hayrick in the US ? Manatvs gelegen op de Noot Riuver (ca. 1 639) 

This anonymous manuscript map is to be found at the Library of Congress.  It is a copy made around 1670 of a map that was probably drawn in New Netherland.  The original map is usually dated ca. 1639, but may have been drawn as early as 1630.    The earliest known map of Manhattan and its vicinity, it is frequently attributed to Joan Vinckeboons, but there is no real evidence that he was actually the cartographer. 

The title of the map can be translated as "Manhattan on the North River." (The Dutch called the Hudson River the North River.) The map shows the area around New York City, including Staten Island and Coney Island. Both Dutch and Indian settlements are shown, with the Native settlements indicated by long houses. On Manhattan, the manhattan.jpgDutch fort, windmills, and some farms are depicted. The map does not show all of the individual houses on Manhattan, which was already more heavily settled than appears here. 



The last haybarrack in New Jersey   thanks to a contribution of Mr. Rick Detwiller.

Hay Barrack at 18 th century Reuben Ayres, later Kelly House at Oak Tree.

detwiller.JPGOn June 26, 1777 Ayres lost “one barn 18 ft. by 30 ft. “ and “one good gun £ 3”  among other items in his Middlesex County Inventory No. 305 then at Woodbridge, NJ .

Photo by F. C. Detwiller ca. 1970

Rick"Detwiller  completed his story 30-01-2004 :

For completeness, I also attach photos of the Ayres House; the damage to the barn mentioned in the caption on the Hay Barrack photo was during the American Revolution bythe British during the Battle of Short Hills, June 26, 1777. Also attached is a jpeg of the 1906 watercolor of the Westfield NJ farm with the hay barrack at the Hay Barrack Westfield 1906_small.jpgright. Thanks for going to the trouble of having your esoteric website! Also to the other sites that contributed information.

Rick Detwiller


BARRACK - Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary


2. A movable roof sliding on four posts, to cover hay, straw, etc [Local, U.S.]

H.L. Mencken (18801956). The American Language. 1921: Page 54

The contributions of the Dutch during the half century of their conflicts with the English included cruller, cold-slaw, dominie (for parson), cookey, stoop, span (of horses), pit (as in peach-pit), waffle, hook (a point of land), scow, boss, smearcase and Santa Claus. 16 Schele de Vere credits them with hay-barrack, a corruption of hooiberg. That they established the use of bush as a designation for back-country is very probable; the word has also got into South African English and has been borrowed by Australian English from American. In American it has produced a number of familiar derivatives, e. g., bush-whacker and bush-town. Barrère and Leland also credit the Dutch with dander, which is commonly assumed to be an American corruption of dandruff. They say that it is from the Dutch word donder (=thunder). Op donderen, in Dutch, means to burst into a sudden rage.

Story of a Hay Barrack in the Revolution - Staten Island, 1779http://www.royalprovincial.com/military/courts/cmbutl.htm

Plans to Reconstruct a Hay Barrack

Rockingham, Princeton NJ http://www.rockingham.net/restoration.html

Landis Valley Museum, Lancaster, PA





Bruce William Lord is proud owner of the lord family album site. He has made some pages about salt hay and hay teams in and around Ipswich in the older day's. This is his adress:

77 David Rd 
Bellingham, MA 02019 
Fax: 508-966-2129 
bwlord11@ comcast.net

 Click here for:

Marshing  and salt hay

of for The hay teamers.


Home Top Wereld


We think of Ipswich as being famous for clams but in the late eighteen hundreds Ipswich was also famous for hay. In a Boston restaurant, my neighbors once told me that to him, Ipswich meant hay. His father had charge of the horses on the street railway and Ipswich hay cost or more a ton than any other hay.

Teaming hay was a big business and there were many men teaming hay to Boston. Most of the teams were from Candlewood and Hogtown. From Candlewood there were old John Carlyle, who must have weighed over Three hundred pounds, and his son, Wally Carlyle, who drove a team of four big, gray horses, one of them a stallion. There were two Kinsmans, Old Willard and Young Willard, who had the distinction of taking the largest load of hay into Boston. It was weighed on the scales of the Customs House and weighed six tons and 550 pounds of loose hay. Before the Customs Tower was built the weight was marked upon the Customs House door.

There were several more of the Candlewood teamers and in Hogtown were the Browns, Burnhams and Storeys. And a few others in other parts of the town.

These men bought hay from Newbury and the surrounding towns, going as far away as Hampton, N.H. Hay teaming was a great game and the ways of the drivers were tricky and dubious. Many of these men were pillars of the church but they didn't let their religion interfere with business. I remember Rastus Clark of Lord's Square had a big load of hay in his yard when a big thunder storm came up. I asked him if he would put the hay in the barn, but he said, why should he, wet hay weighed more than dry hay. There was a man who weighed more than 300 pounds and he used to ride to Boston on the load of hay and they would weigh him with the load. There was one weigher in Peabody who would give the driver a signed waybill and let him fill in the amount himself. Another scheme waas to build the load so high that when it was driven to the scales in Boston it pressed against the ceiling and gained a few hundred pounds. Each teamer had his own bag of tricks.

There are many stories told of teaming hay to Boston. A load of hay took up a lot of room on the road and woe to the electric car motorman who became too insistent. He was doomed to loaf for miles behind the load of hay. He couldn't pass and the driver wouldn't move over.

It was told of one driver, who when his load was sold and unloaded, tied the reins to the whip socket and curled up on the seat and never awoke until his wife awakened him when the horse pulled into the barn.

Sometimes they had something put over on them. The story is told of an old woman who hailed the driver and asked him if he had some hay. He allowed that he did and after much backing and filling to reach the barn door, she asked him to throw off enough for a hen's nest.

This is part of the story of Ipswich hay.

The coming of western baled hay was a contributing factor in the decline of the Ipswich hay business.



One experience the present generation knows nothing of is going to "mash" and cutting salt hay. Up to about 1900, the salt hay crop was most important.

Most farmers fed a certain proportion of salt hay ato stretch out their English hay. It was kind of tricky to feed salt hay to milch cows. It had to be done right and at the right time, or it would taste in the milk.

The first cutting was the black grass. This grows along the shore and is called from the black seed. This is a better grade of hay than the outer grass.

Nearly every farmer owned a patch of marsh. The boundaries were mostly ditches and creeks. Many farmers came from as far as Danvers and Topsfield.

Cutting salt hay was primarily a hand job. On some of the marshes near the shore horses could be used and the grass cut and raked by machine. Horses used on the marsh had to wear marsh shoes. These shoes were about a foot in diameter, round, and clamped onto the hooves like snowshoes. It needed a steady and dependable horse. Sometimes a horse would step into a ditch or a hole and it was quite a job to get him out.

The bulk of the salt hay was cut with a scythe. Many men were expert at this, and sometimes two or three men would follow in parallel swarths one behind the other, and the rhythmic swing of the scythes made a pleasant swish and they would cut a lot of grass in a day. After the hay was cut, it was raked into cocks to be poled to where the stack was being made. Poling hay was often the boys' job. The poles were about 15 feet long, 3 inches in diameter. They were slid under the cocks of hay, parallel, and a boy took hold of the poles one in each hand while the other took the rear and lifted it up and carried it to where the stack was being made. This was a job that took a watchful eye for many pitfalls like small ditches and holes lie in wait for the careless poler.

The stack is built on staddles, which are large stakes driven in a 10 or 12 foot circle, filling the whole circle about a foot apart, and the hay stack is built on these so the tide will not carry it away. The stacks are about 12 feet high. Salt haying can only be carried on a low running tide.

There is another phase of salt haying and that is going after it with a gundalow. These gundalows were large flatboats perhaps thirty feet long and fifteen feet wide and about

3 feet deep. They were rowed by four men using oars 18 feet long and sitting in the bow. The boat was steered by a long sweep from the stern. They were used to bring hay from Plum Island and from the outer edges of the marsh. They went out on the top of the tide and worked while the tide uncovered the marsh, many times staying all night. If school permitted, the boys considered it a great privilege to go on one of these trips. Luncheon was carried and generally two jugs. One jug would contain "switchum". Switchum consisted of molasses and water with a generous portion of ginger, this was especially for the boys. The other jug would contain hard cider. Sometimes more than one jug of cider would be taken and the crew would return quite happy. Greens Point was often the landing place for the hay and it might be stacked or hauled off. There were several gundalows in Ipswich, the last two rotting away, one near Greens Point and a catamaran type in the canal near Canal Bridge.

In the fall as some of us remember the marshes from Town Hill looked like an immense Indian Village, with cocks of hay as far as you could see and later inumerical stacks of hay waiting for the freezeup

. Home Top Wereld

Introduction to these pages

Till around 2000 all knowledge of the history of the hay barrack - hayrick - hay shed (these names are in use for the same structure of poles and movable roof) came from written data. Especially Dutch researchers have been active. They all seemed to think that the hayrick in earlier centuries and decades was spread all over the Europe. Then almost everywhere they disappeared because of new building techniques and new agricultural developments. Holland became one of the last resorts. 

Nowadays Internet offers the possibilities to investigate virtual databases, virtual musea and to visit the sites of historic foundations, to discuss with interested people, and to exchange information.

Most information, I think, is gathered by this site on the european part of the Atlantic. And by the people of the Dutch barn societies on the american part, and -no discussion- by Alan Ritch's culture and hay site .

Looking to all the information nowadays available  does raise the theorie that the hayrick is principally a west european structure. Developed  in the Dutch - North West German Area. From there on the structure was spread and adapted to local materials and culture all over Europe from the 16th century. So in Holland the schuurberg developed in the Betuwe region, the parapluie rick in the east and the oborohy , abora and kozolece with liftable roof in the East of Europe.  The upcoming of the German spieker (speicher) and hayshed were reason for the disappearance of the hayrick in Germany  The development of the stolpboerderij in North-West Holland, and North Germany did disappear the vijzelberg in those regions. Later the Dutch and the Germans exported the hayrick to Amerika. The growing database of paintings and literature supports these theory more than that the hayrick once was a pan-Europe structure that slowly disappears almost everywhere.

If this theory is right the next statement must be right: 

Who is wellknown with the history of America and knows  which European nation  colonized special parts can predict which kind of hayricks were built first in that region.

So I went on a search on the Internet. And yes: on the oldest map I could find untill now there is proof of my theorie. Manhattan, anno 1630, is in the possession of at least one dutch foor poles thatched hayrick!!! Manhattan was colonized by the Dutch.  For more info:  (and I hope this section will grow by contributions from other people, please help me: when your region was colonized by Germans, French or English people and you have old pictures, photo's or other info on haystorage: info@hooiberg.info ) 

During the surfing on internet I met a lot of american enthousiastic people and we exchanged so much information that I could start this part of the site: Hay barracks in the States!!! And they gave me tips how to optimize my english, but that they did only sometimes :-), so please contibute by tales, images and advise on my use of the english language!

Wim Lanphen januari 2004 - 2008

Links to American related organizations

Rockingham Museum


PRESERVATION TRADES NETWORK Phone: 301-315-8345 (Toll Free 866-853-9335) 
P. O. Box 10236, Rockville, MD 20849-0236 Fax: 301-315-8344 (Toll Free 866-853-9336) 

Society for the preservation of Hudson Valley vernacular Architecture (HVVA) 
P.O box 202 
West Hurley 
NY 12491

(845) 338-0257



New World Dutch Barn Survey 2000

http://www.threerivershms.com is the link to a very interesting portal. You find here the different club sites ans a dutch farm survey!

The Holland Society


The BarnJournal




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