Swiss barn

German barn, Swiss barn

Any one of a variety of barns, often serving as a combination barn and home, built during the 18th and 19th centuries by German-speaking immigrants to the New World; especially characterized by a shingled gambrel roof or gable roof; a second floor overhanging one side of the barn, well beyond the foundation; usually an inclined driveway providing direct entry to the threshing floor where wheat was threshed, hay was stored, and where the family lived. The basement was used as a stable for horses, cattle, and sheep; often of stone construction or masonry up to the threshing floor and wood construction above. Many stone barns had long, narrow, vertical slots in the walls for supplying the barn with fresh air. Also see bank barn, forebay barn, grundscheier, Pennsylvania barn, Sweitzer barn, slit ventilator.
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