The School Street Barn in Hampden County, Massachusetts, stands as the last remaining 19th-century barn in Agawam Center. In use as a working barn for approximately 100 years, the School Street Barn is significant for its uncommon use as a major component of a city jail farm, as distinct from a prison farm. In a project that was understood at its time as ground-breaking, the barn was used for farming activities of the Springfield jail that enabled the jail system to: put its minor offenders to work, to raise enough produce to feed inmates, and to save considerable amounts of money. The barn, a central part of the jail’s farm program, was where the farm produce was processed, animals were housed and fed, and equipment was stored. Impetus for buying the farmland came from Hampden County Sherriff David J, Manning, who decided to create a farm jail program for inmates of Springfield’s York Street jail. Manning aimed to bring food into the system and to use his minor offenders (mostly arrested for drunkenness) as farmhands. In 1934, the county bought the first small amount of acreage in Agawam Center, and the School Street Barn farmland was added to the jail farm in two purchases made in 1943 and 1949.
Read the full file on the School Street Barn
To see more photographs of National Register properties go
to our photostream on Flickr.
See our Weekly List (with previous highlights)