When the GBHS saved the Wheeler Farmstead from destruction, the attached Dutch Wagon House structure was extremely unstable, with a large hole in the roof. The Society committed to save the building because of its unique historical significance and the need for a larger meeting area for the Museum. Thanks to donations from people like you, the Wagon House has been enclosed for the winter.
Through the very exacting and historically accurate work of our own contractor, Scott Morrison, the building has been stabilized and the elaborate stonework is nearing completion. A big thank you to John Kuhn Copper for a great job on the roof (now finished!), to Ed Herrington for donating the beautiful windows, and to Mike Shiels for his excellent framing and siding work.
Finally, as you can see by the photo above this article on the home page, the area in front of the Wagon House was leveled and back-filled with soil to provide the basis for a future Colonial-era garden.
The Dutch Wagon House is a rare example of New World Dutch bent framing, a relic of Dutch/English cultural interaction along the Mass./New York border. Flared eaves are usually associated with coastal NY/NJ/CT, and are uncommon in our area. Originally used in the 18th century as a storehouse for goods, the wide overhang gave good protection from the weather as wagons were loaded and unloaded. A room on the second floor housed Revolutionary War recruits recruited for duty into Washington’s army by Captain Truman Wheeler, the Berkshire Region’s Muster Master.