Farming forum: Buiding Identification?

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So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Oct 4, 2013 10:23 PM CST
Can anyone venture a guess as to what this building may have been used before in its previous life? It is located on our Texas property and is next to a house built in the 20's as well as near an isolated root cellar/ storm cellar, stone cistern and a pump house. It reminds me of a vege/fruit stand but I know it can't be that as we are located in a rural area - miles from the main road.

It is slated to become the new hen house but I am curious as to what it may have been used for previously. I know that the original family must have kept dairy cattle at some time as there is the remainders of a milk house (ramp and all) on another section of property but this building has me perplexed.

Thumb of 2013-10-05/OldGardener/bf915d

The dimensions are approximately 10 x 12 an there is a walk-in door located on a perpendicular wall.

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 5, 2013 9:31 AM CST
It looks the size and shape of a hen house to me. Sure was a solid one though, they must have had a good supply of stones. Ususally there would be a small door to let the hens out during the day. Nothing left inside to give you a clue? If it's facing South, it may have been a "hot house" to grow things to extend the growing season. The stones would hold in some of the heat from the day. It's hard to tell, but is should make a very nice hen house.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
So Cal (Zone 10b)
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OldGardener
Oct 5, 2013 10:56 AM CST
We are lucky - all of the old buildings are made of stone (as is the cistern). The walls are very thick and the stone keeps the inside of the buildings cool in the summer despite the Texas heat.

There looks to be a remnant of a full length counter top beneath the "window" and it looks like that someone put chicken wire over the window from the inside at some point but beyond these 2 things, there is nothing else. The "window" is placed so that it is opposite of the summer breeze so I will be looking at some form of additional ventilation (roof line vents?) to create air flow. The building is situated so that it only catches the morning sun. The only other oddity is that the walk-in doorway is unusually narrow - less than 24" wide but a full 6 foot high.

I wish it had initially been set up as a hen house - it would have been nice to have an opening for the birds closer to the ground. I am planning to set up runs similar to Dave's plan but am looking to incorporate the window area as the entrance/exit for the chickens. Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated nodding

The original purpose of this building just has me perplexed. I thought at one time that it may have been a milk cooling shed but the old milking barn is far from the house and this building is in the original house's yard. As the land was thoughtfully laid out, I am sure there was rhyme and reason to this building but I cannot figure it out.

Here's a layout of the building:

Thumb of 2013-10-05/OldGardener/3735c3

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Joy Hall
Hempstead, TX (Zone 8b)
Lonesome Pine Farm
Farmer Region: Texas Dog Lover Hummingbirder Keeps Goats
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rouxcrew
Oct 5, 2013 1:28 PM CST
A larder? With so much dark it could have stored herbs, breads, meats, vegetables maybe.
Is the roof original? Could it have had a chimney? Could it have been a big smokehouse?
Close to the house and low light makes me think storage.

Joy
People, like sheep, tend to follow a leader - occasionally in the right direction. Alexander Chase
So Cal (Zone 10b)
Cat Lover Forum moderator Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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OldGardener
Oct 5, 2013 2:06 PM CST
A larder - I think you got it - thank you!!! Both would make sense but there isn't any soot/creosote on the walls so I think it must have been a larder. There is a pad (the building is gone) above this building and I now wonder if that was indeed the smokehouse. Although the building is long gone, there is evidence of an old chimney there and some soot-covered rock.

The root cellar/storm cellar is next to this building so it now all makes perfect sense. Hmmm, I can just imagine those hams hanging in there Big Grin

Thank you so much for solving the mystery. Now we have to decide if we want to put chickens in there or restore it back to a larder. We would like to put in a smokehouse and I see the benefit of having a room to hang hams and other curing meats away from all the wasps.

Again, thank you!!!
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Name: Joy Hall
Hempstead, TX (Zone 8b)
Lonesome Pine Farm
Farmer Region: Texas Dog Lover Hummingbirder Keeps Goats
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rouxcrew
Oct 6, 2013 6:37 AM CST
Hurray! Hurray! Hurray!
People, like sheep, tend to follow a leader - occasionally in the right direction. Alexander Chase

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