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St. Mary's City in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

What Kind of Barn Was This?

 
 
What Kind of Barn Was This? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, August 30, 2019
1. What Kind of Barn Was This? Marker
Inscription.  In the second half of the 18th century, grain prices rose and many farmers switched to growing wheat. William Hicks built a granary about 200 feet from here in 1758 to process and store wheat and other grains. An original door from that structure is displayed behind you. His was one of two granaries that stood in this area. Evidence shows that in 1785 John Mackall built a second granary in which you are standing.

Granaries need to be dry, stay cool, have solid floors and clean interiors, and be able to keep out rodents. Both the Hicks granary and the Mackall barn originally had wood floors as well as lofts for additional grain storage. The original shed on this side of Mackall's barn had a tight wood floor as well. We know this because of the empty notches for its floor joists that can still be seen in the sill of the barn wall behind you. These tight floors provided protection and areas for threshing grain.

Note the traces of whitewash on the ceiling joists in the barn. Whitewashing helped keep the granary clean and deterred insects. Due to market changes, farmers converted this structure into a tobacco barn in the early
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1800s.

[Aside:]
John Mackall's probate inventory lists scythes used in harvesting grain and a "wheat fan" that helped in separating the wheat from the chaff. George Washington had five such fans at Mount Vernon, which were called "Dutch" fans in an inventory taken in 1810. Thomas Jefferson also used similar technology at Monticello.
 
Erected by Historic St. Mary's City.
 
Location. 38° 11.002′ N, 76° 25.782′ W. Marker is in St. Mary's City, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Point Lookout Road (Maryland Route 5) 0.4 miles west of Rosecroft Road, on the left when traveling west. The marker is inside the open-air barn. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16721 Point Lookout Road, Saint Marys City MD 20686, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Who Worked Here? (here, next to this marker); A Pressing Situation (here, next to this marker); Dating Changes in a Building (here, next to this marker); Agricultural Change and Environmental Damage (here, next to this marker); To Market! To Market! (here, next to this marker); Tree Growth Rings (a few steps from this marker); Constructed With Colonial Ideas (a few
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steps from this marker); What Happened Here After 1695? (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Mary's City.
 
Categories. AgricultureNotable Buildings
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 28 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on September 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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