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IMGP9482“Prior to the 1850s, most barns had a least one pair of large hinged doors that opened onto the main drive floor. Each door measured about four or five feet wide and about eight or more feet high so that a fully loaded hay wagon could be brought inside to fill the haymow. Built of vertical boards with diagonal braces on the inside, the doors hung from large wrought-iron strap hinges. Large hinged doors could present problems for farmers, especially during harsh weather. An observer noted in the New England Farmer in 1824:

The large doors were towards the south, to admit the sun, when necessary, with a small door in one of the larger ones to enter when the weather is windy, and it made dangerous to open the large doors. Barns ought always to have a small door to use in the winter, when you must often be in and out.”IMGP9485

Visser, Thomas Durant (2000-10-03). Field Guide to New England Barns and Farm Buildings (Library of New England). UPNE. Kindle Edition.