Preservation Pop Quiz…name this outbuilding!
Heritage Ohio recently held its quarterly board meeting on Kelleys Island. While on our way from lunch to the meeting destination we passed by this agricultural relic pictured below (NOT the big grey pole building!)
This outbuilding was once an indispensable component of the 19th century Ohio farm. Used to store and dry a common farm product, this outbuilding’s name is derived from its unique shape. What is it?
Update: The building pictured above is known as a coffin corn crib, used for the drying and storage of corn after the annual harvest. In this picture, you see a doorway leading into the crib. A typical corn crib had no foundation but rested on rough stone piers (on Kelleys Island, grey limestone would be the native stone of choice for the piers). The small gaps between the horizontal siding allowed for air circulation, and the inward slope of the exterior walls assured that rain water could not wet the corn, causing spoilage of the crop.
Corn cribs have a fascinating history in the US, and a quick trip to your local bookstore or library can help you sleuth out published sources for more information. Happy hunting!
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