Sweet Marble Barn

Sweet Marble Barn

This barn is an English threshing barn, also known as a Yankee or Connecticut barn, which is typical of upstate New York in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Sweet Marble Barn has a timber frame construction and three bays. It has a center threshing floor and two side bays, one for the storage of grain and the other, with six stalls, for the shelter of animals.

The Sweet Marble Barn is part of our Lippitt barnyard. During the summer, the barn is used as the Children’s Barnyard with lambs, calves, chicks, and a rabbit. Sweet Marble Barn is also where we milk our cows.  The Farmers’ Museum has several cows at any one time. Specifically, we raise a heritage breed of Milking Short Horn.

Dairying

A cow can only be milked after it gives birth to a calf.  A cow produces milk to feed its calf. The Farmers’ Museum follows the nineteenth century practice of allowing the calf to eat and then using the extra milk in the Lippitt Farm House.  At the farmhouse, the milk is turned into cheese and butter.  Milk, cheese, and butter are good sources of fat, and for a nineteenth century farm family, this fat was extremely important for a healthy diet.

We raise a heritage breed of milking short horn. These cows are generally red, white, and roan in color and have good temperaments. A good temperament is important in such a large animal, especially when hand milking. We milk our cows twice a day- once in the morning and once in the late afternoon. Gentleness is also necessary because we move the cows between pastures by walking them on a lead rope.

Milking short horns are still raised today on dairy farms. They are known for their beautiful color which is much different than the black and white of Holsteen cows. Short Horns are desired in modern dairies, as they were in the nineteenth century, for their gentle temperament. They are also hardy, generally healthy, and in a modern milking operation, can produce up to 15,000 pounds of milk a year.

Related Objects and Documents


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Letter in Hinman Milking Machine Trade Cat.

Letter in Hinman Milking Machine Trade Catalog, Thomas Taggert to J.P. Meyers (1917), Hinman Milking Machine Co., Oneida, NY, [1921?], p. 34, Trade cats Ag Imp H593h, 14 x 18 cm., Research Library Special Collections Trade Catalogs: Agricultural Implements, N0650.1999

Residence of Marshall A. Fairbanks

The Fairbanks family moved to Evans, New York (Erie County), in 1832. Marshall Fairbanks was born to John and Mary Fairbanks in August of 1835. They lived in a frame house on one hundred acres of land. They grew wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, corn, potatoes, bran, and apples, as well as making maple molasses, wine, … Continue reading Residence of Marshall A. Fairbanks

Sempronius, New York

This map has been edited to show the location of the creamery in Sempronius (Cayuga County), New York.

Woman Operating Three Hinman Units

Companies that made agricultural equipment often stressed how efficient their machines were. This photograph from a trade catalog demonstrates that by using the company’s milking machine, one woman can do the work of three milkers.

Ripley, New York

In 1804, Alexander Cochran, an immigrant from Ireland, purchased the first track of land from the Holland Land Company in Ripley, New York, located in Chautauqua County on Lake Erie. He and his three brothers farmed for a living, and their families continued to farm the same land in Ripley for the next two hundred years. … Continue reading Ripley, New York

Milk Pans

During the nineteenth century, the woman of the household was usually responsible for making cheese and butter. She would set milk out in pans to separate the cream from the milk. The thick cream would rise to the top of the pan, and she would skim it off. The cream was used to make butter.

Milking Stool

Milk was a very important resource for a farmer in the nineteenth century. With little meat available, dairy products such as butter and cheese were the best way for people to get protein in their diets. Cows had to be milked twice a day. During the mid-nineteenth century, milking was done entirely by hand. Farmers sat on … Continue reading Milking Stool

Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – October 29, 1878

From the years 1878 until 1888, if not longer, Marshall Fairbanks kept a daily account of life on his farm in Evans (Erie County), New York, including his accounts of the weather, money coming in and out, and any other events of interest. He wrote about driving into Buffalo to sell crops and about laborers … Continue reading Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – October 29, 1878

Diary of Marshall Fairbanks — October 28, 1878

From the years 1878 until 1888, if not longer, Marshall Fairbanks kept a daily account of life on his farm in Evans (Erie County), New York, including his accounts of the weather, money coming in and out, and any other events of interest. He wrote about driving into Buffalo to sell crops and about laborers … Continue reading Diary of Marshall Fairbanks — October 28, 1878

Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – July 16, 1878

From the years 1878 until 1888, if not longer, Marshall Fairbanks kept a daily account of life on his farm in Evans (Erie County), New York, including his accounts of the weather, money coming in and out, and any other events of interest. He wrote about driving into Buffalo to sell crops and about laborers … Continue reading Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – July 16, 1878

Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – April 17, 1878

From the years 1878 until 1888, if not longer, Marshall Fairbanks kept a daily account of life on his farm in Evans (Erie County), New York, including his accounts of the weather, money coming in and out, and any other events of interest. He wrote about driving into Buffalo to sell crops and about laborers … Continue reading Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – April 17, 1878

Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – March 6, 1878

From the years 1878 until 1888, if not longer, Marshall Fairbanks kept a daily account of life on his farm in Evans (Erie County), New York, including his accounts of the weather, money coming in and out, and any other events of interest. He wrote about driving into Buffalo to sell crops and about laborers … Continue reading Diary of Marshall Fairbanks – March 6, 1878

Clarissa Cow

Clarissa Cow is modeled after a Holstein-Friesian, the most popular dairy breed in New York State. She has traveled all over New York State to promote good nutrition, agriculture, and the Empire State Carousel. She was hand carved by Bruno Speiser and painted by Jill Irving and now is a part of the Empire State Carousel.

Churning Butter

During the nineteenth century, the woman of the household was usually responsible for making butter and cheese. She would use cream, skimmed from milk, to make butter in a butter churn.

American Cow Milker Broadside

Nineteenth century farmers often received information about new technology and equipment from printed broadsides. Broadsides were posters created for a specific purpose such as advertising, announcements, or information.  This broadside advertises the American Cow Milker, a milking machine from that time period.

Visiting the Lambs