CALEDON HERITAGE FOUNDATION BARN AWARDS 2009
The old barns of Caledon, an important part of our rural landscape, are often taken for granted and, unfortunately, a number are being lost because of this.
In 2009 the focus of the CALEDON HERITAGE FOUNDATION was the celebration and preservation of our historic barns. CHF presented Awards of $500 to owners of outstanding barns in the following categories:
Earliest Timber Frame Barns
The construction of barns was often commemorated with the year being carved into date stones in their foundations or cut out in the gable-end peaks. This CHF Award will be presented to the Caledon barn with the earliest date inscribed in either the foundation or gable-end peak.
The CHF 2009 Barn Award in this category was presented to Robert and Barbara Downey.
The farm on Mount Hope Road was settled in 1831 by William Downey of Yorkshire, England.
Robert Downey is the fifth generation of the Downey family on this property. The barn is a beautifully maintained timber-frame barn with the date 1880 cut out in the gable-end peak. This is the newer half of the barn and both parts of the barn are still in use.
Other nominations in this category were dated 1885 and 1886.
Rare Architectural Elements in Historic Barns
Many barns still entail interesting original elements, such as extraordinarily long timbers, unusual swing beams, unusual ventilators, hand-carved details, exceptionally tall hay ladders, odd hex signs, and cobblestone or flagstone floors. The barn with the most unusual architectural feature will win the CHF Award in this category.
CHF 2009 Barn Award in this category was presented to Eileen Cook and Helen and John Mason.
The committee decided on a tie between Eileen Cook's barn on Chingacousy Road, and Helen and John Mason's barn complex on Heart Lake Road.
The Cook barn, which is still in use, has a exceptionally fine swing beam and an unusual hay winch.
The Mason three-barn complex is now a rarity in Caledon. The large central barn has a flagstone floor with a drainage channel. The barns also feature gable-end cut-outs of double hearts and celtic crosses. The over all high quality of craftsmanship in both the Cook and Mason barns deserves recognition.