Friday, October 22, 2010


The Forest House, outside of Yreka, was built c1852 as the centerpiece of an agricultural development that is considered to be one of the first commercial orchards in northern California.  As I continue to study this site, and work towards its listing on the National Register, we’ve decided to expand the nomination to include the three outbuildings, all 19th century, that surround the main dwelling.

Barns are interesting things, in that they are essentially machines, used to reduce the workload of constantly over-worked ranchers and farmers.  Built stout, to carry heavy loads and take heavy abuse, the old barns at the Forest House are of massive post and beam construction, with mortise and tenoned joinery, each connected with wooden pegs.  These later are formally called “trunnels,” one of my favorite bits of architectural jargon (another is wythe, meaning a layer of brick in wall, but that’s another blogpost).

Barns, their structure, and the wonderful quality of light that their hardly impervious walls admit, make for great photography.  Here are a few views of the Stable and Carriage Barn, built about 1860, and the Dairy Barn next door, built in 1865.

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