‘Iconic’ barn house with silo in Kent
KENT — Before it was her family’s home for nearly three decades, the dairy barn at 391 Kent Cornwall Road began as a “pipe dream” for Hilary Carlin and her husband.
The couple first saw the home, with a for sale sign in the yard, while they were still living in New York but on a camping trip at the nearby Macedonia Brook State Park.
The fact that the 1900 barn-turned-home looked like a “fixer upper” didn’t discourage them, Hilary Carlin said, but instead was a major draw. The Carlins both enjoyed renovating homes and looked forward to the opportunity to preserve the barn’s original feel, but make sure it would last for years to come.
Three years later, they got their wish.
“We were still looking in Kent and that listing came in front of us again — it was just meant to be,” Carlin said. “We fell in love with the house and we were determined to make it happen.”
The barn, which was originally part of a larger farm that stretched across Route 7, had already been converted into a home, but needed some work to make it structurally sound, Carlin said.
The couple redid the floors that had started to sag, created an updated kitchen and replaced the walls, which the previous owner, a New York set designer, had made moveable.
“That’s why there’s very few original silos left,” Carlin said.
The silo now includes three floors, which the Carlins used as two office spaces and a basement workout room. With this and other renovations, like adding the original beams throughout the home, Carlin said the goal was to maintain as much of the original barn as they could.
“We never wanted to change it from being a barn,” she said. “Even where we made renovations, we worked really hard to preserve that historical feel.”
The barn is “iconic to the town,” Carlin said, because of its history as part of a large farm that ran until around the time Route 7 came through Kent.
Many residents have told them stories of the farm’s history, including the common sight of the original owner’s son driving through town on a tractor because he didn’t have a license for a car.
The farm included a house, now on the other side of the road, and a tobacco barn down the street. Growing tobacco had been a dominant industry in Kent’s early days before it was replaced by dairy after World War I, according to the historical society.
In the dairy barn, the living area on the first floor is where the cows had once been held, including a series of original stanchions, now with model cows peaking out. Upstairs, where the hay loft once was, is another living area and four bedrooms.
Outside, the 14-acre property stretches back to the Housatonic River and includes a pool, gardens and acres of open space on The Appalachian Trail.
It is on the market for $850,000.
“It’s a very unique property and a very unique house,” Carlin said. “It has kind of an old world feel to it, like England in the countryside. You don’t feel like you’re in a typical Connecticut home.”