Southbury, the only town in the United States with that name, was, until the middle of the 20th century, a quiet farming community surrounded by fields, meadows, and barns. Barns are still scattered around Southbury. Some remain functional; some are valued remnants of former small subsistence and large dairy farms; and some exist only in memories or photographs.
The Southbury Historical Society, therefore, was extremely grateful for the donation in 2009 by Marie Ludorf of one of the region’s most beautiful and historically significant farmscapes: the barnyard at Ludorf farm. Included were the ca. 1820 Ludorf barn, related outbuildings, antique farm equipment and two acres of scenic pastureland. The Ludorf Barn is part of a long history of Southbury agriculture. The Society’s goal is to adapt the iconic 19th century barn and its surrounding landscape for re-use as a farm heritage museum. Once restored, the Ludorf Farm Museum will provide the ideal setting to study and enjoy the area’s agricultural history.
Circa 1820 Ludorf Barn, Southbury
Southbury Historical Society Awarded Grant from the 1772 Foundation
In 2011, the 1772 Foundation, located in the state of Connecticut, awarded the Southbury Historical Society a $14,000 grant to fund the restoration of the barn. The 1772 Foundation provides financial support for targeted restoration and agricultural projects throughout the Unites States. Historic preservation is part of its focus in Connecticut, New Jersey and Rhode Island. The grant, which requires a match, was given specifically for exterior restoration. Currently, extensive work is being conducted to the barn roof, doors, and south-facing windows. We are excited to see this work in process!
“With support from the 1772 Foundation” said Don Meyers, a historical society Board member and past president, “we have been able to complete three-quarters of the restoration process. This grant is helping us preserve an important part of Southbury’s history. We are grateful and thankful for the Foundation’s support and we hope that others in the community will be inspired and encouraged to do the same.”
The buckboard has been restored! After two trips to Pennsylvania and weeks of work by the Leola Coach Works, our circa 1880s buckboard looks like new! We are delighted to have such a beautiful buckboard for our farm museum!
Our next project will be the restoration of the sleigh from the Ludorf Barn.
Restoration and replacement of the roof, 2011
c. 1880s Buckboard from the Ludorf Barn Sleigh from the Ludorf Barn