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Kingston Historical Society Program: Elric Endersby on New World Dutch Barns
June 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pmFree
7 p.m.: Victory Chase’s Video on the Rockingham Barn Raising will be shown during refreshments. 7:45 p.m.: Illustrated talk by Elric Endersby: ARCADES and ANCHORBENTS: The Origins and Characteristics of New World Dutch barns. Light refreshments. Free and open to all.
The talk: What’s a podstone? Any inklings about gunstock posts, through tenons, two-foot marks, raising holes, middle men, mangers or marriage marks? “Arcades and Anchorbents: The Origins and Characteristics of New World Dutch Barns,” is the title of a talk regarding these remarkable New Jersey vernacular structures and their Old World precedents. This examination of an early and iconic building type offers a rare opportunity to discover an early architectural tradition within a notable example – the Nevius Dutch Barn at Rockingham State Historic Site.
The featured speaker, Elric Endersby, is a founding partner of The New Jersey Barn Company which disassembled the ruinous structure in nearby Middlebush in 1999, repaired it, and raised it at Rockingham in 2013, thereby providing a complementary and contextual agricultural feature at the historic site.
The New World Dutch Barn traced its “basilica form” to the middle ages, and was widely disseminated throughout the Lowlands. Early Dutch settlers in the Hudson Valley, Western Long Island and central New Jersey applied its conventions, along with their framing skills, to the structures they created, amplified by the wealth of old growth timbers available from the forests they cleared to create their farms. The form survived more than 200 years after the Dutch relinquished governmental control. After the Revolution, as Dutch, English and, later, German families settled central New Jersey they not only assisted one another in raising barns and other structures, they began to adapt and adopt aspects of their separate building traditions, creating wholly new variations.
Over more than 40 years, Endersby and his partner Alex Greenwood have discovered and inspected nearly 100 Dutch barns across the state, and documented more than 60 of which a third have since succumbed to development. Of the remainder, they have disassembled several threatened examples for relocation. Assembled from their archives, photographs and measured drawings will be shown, depicting characteristic forms and features, their origins and evolution. Better yet, the Nevius Dutch Barn, itself, will serve as a full scale illustrative model.
A native Princetonian, Elric Endersby has long been involved with local history. After five years gathering an oral history of the area, in 1975 he was the founder of the Princeton History Project and, over a dozen years, co-editor of the Princeton Recollector, its popular journal of local lore. He has been a member of Princeton’s Historic Preservation Commission since 1996. No stranger to Rockingham, he served on its board nearly 50 years ago. The New Jersey Barn Company has disassembled and relocated more than 180 structures over the past 40 years. Greenwood and Endersby are co-authors of two well-regarded books on barns.
The Video: Victory Chase’s video was recorded over five weeks, from October 21 to November 25, 2013, while the New Jersey Barn Company was raising and reconstructing the late 18th-century Nevius Barn, from the Middlebush area of central Franklin Township, on the grounds of Rockingham State Historic Site, near Kingston. Editing was done during January-February 2014, and the video was shown on FTTV in March-April 2014, before going onto youtube.
Victory Chase taught herself videography and video editing on computer in order to lead FTTV’s Volunteer Videographer Pilot Program, 2012-2014. She was also a member of Franklin’s Cable Television Advisory Committee from 2008-2014, and served two terms chairing that committee. She has lived in Franklin Township since September 1969, and presently serves as secretary of the Rockingham Association, the “friends group” of Rockingham State Historic Site. She has an undergraduate degree in English from Stanford University, and master’s degrees from both UC-Berkeley and Princeton University.
Victory commented about the barn video: “Filming the barn-raising was one of the happiest experiences of my life, and editing the video was one of the most difficult.”
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