Barns: Double-pen Barn

During his investigation in southern Indiana, Warren located 35 examples of the double-crib log barn, so-named because it consists of two single-crib units joined by an open passageway. These barns were quite large, with an average size of 49 feet in length, 22 feet in width, and 12 feet in height. Warren notes that the largest barn he encountered was 72 feet long, while five others were over 60 feet long. Many farmers extended their original size by building frame sheds on all four sides.

"Most double-crib barns have a dirt floor in the passageway between the two log cribs. The farmer was able to drive his loaded hay wagon into this passageway and to pitch the hay up into the large lofts over the log cribs. When these areas were full, he could move timbers across the top of the passageway and use that area for hay storage as well. Six of the thirty-five barns, however, have wooden floors in the passageway. These floors, sometimes called 'tramping floors,' could be used for threshing. Wheat and other grain stored in one of the log cribs could be pitched out onto the wooden floor and threshed as needed. Usually one of the log cribs was used for stabling animals and the frame sheds surrounding the log portions of the barn were used for miscellaneous storage. In almost two-thirds of these barns the log cribs are of about equal size, but in a third of them one of the cribs is quite small, seemingly built as a corn crib."

“Early Log-Crib Barn Survivals,” in Barns of the Midwest, 32.