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House Types Barn Types Barn Features Outbuilding Types Landscapes Archaeology
Architecture & Landscapes of Pennsylvania's Agriculture: A Field Guide

The purpose of this site is to introduce common house, barn, landscape, outbuilding, and archaeological features of Pennsylvania's agricultural regions. The Bureau for Historic Preservation, in cooperation with Pennsylvania State University, PennDOT, and several local historical societies, has developed a National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) for agriculture in Pennsylvania. What this means is that anyone who needs to evaluate the historic characteristics of a farmstead will be able to refer to this MPDF for help. The MPDF will delineate historic agricultural regions, document the historic agricultural landscapes and buildings that are associated with past farming patterns, and explain how to assess a farm's historical significance.

When this project began, there were standard forms for recording many types of historic architecture in Pennsylvania, but none existed for recording farmstead buildings. Staff developed a form to be used in fieldwork and in documenting individual farms. This field guide gives explanations of the terms used in the Pennsylvania Agricultural History Project Survey Form (PDF). These terms don't cover every type to be found in the state, but they do explain most of the important barn and outbuilding types that one is likely to see around the state. This Field Guide closely follows the survey form, so that it should be possible to readily use the Field Guide in conjunction with the form. Once you have used this guide to identify individual barn and outbuilding types, for help in interpreting farmsteads and landscapes within a specific historic agricultural context please refer to the narrative for each specific historic agricultural region.

Historic photo of David Slusher Farm in Amwell Township Washington County