Description of Historic Place
The Gallant Barn is a large rectangular wood frame pitched roof barn built circa 1900-1910, situated in a courtyard of original farm buildings in Abrams Village.
The Gallant Barn is valued for its original architectural fabric, its importance in interpreting the history of the community of Abrams Village, its connection with the agricultural history of Prince Edward Island, and as a representation of the diverse economy of small-scale Acadian farmers.
The farm of which this barn is a part was established circa 1872 by Lemant (Amand) Gallant, northwest of the Abrams Village corner, around which time the Victorian dwelling on the property was built. Although its precise date of construction is not known, it is believed that the large two storey barn was erected circa 1900-1910 by Lemant's son, Prospere, and possibly as early as 1890.
The Gallants ran a mixed farming operation, a common practice at the time in this part of the province, with dairy cows, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. The barn was originally built to house livestock on the main floor, reflected in its design which featured doors of various sizes to accommodate various sizes of animals, with the second floor used for hay storage. The size of the barn and its strategic placement on the property made it highly effective as a barrier to harsh north winds, helping to shelter the house and courtyard. In approximately 1955, the grandson of Prospere Gallant, Joseph, began to use the barn to store equipment and wood related to his wood cutting operation.
The Gallant Barn has been altered since its construction, with a number of modifications and additions made over the years. Around 1950, a machine shed was built onto the west elevation to house a tractor. A small louvered vent on the spine of the roof was removed circa 1960 for use as a playhouse, in addition to a low door on the right of the south (front) elevation, along with a fenced enclosure for pigs off the east elevation, and steel was used to cover the old shingled roof, as well as the east elevation, circa 2000.
Although the Gallant Barn is not a rare structure in and of itself, it is significant in that it forms the central part of a perfect courtyard of original farm buildings including a main residence, a hen house, a granary, and a machine shed, and figures prominently on a farm that has been passed down through multiple generations, and remains in the family today.
Heritage Places files, Department of Education, Early Learning & Culture, Charlottetown, PEI
File #: 4310-20/G10
The heritage value of the Gallant Barn is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the location of the barn on its original footprint
- the original doors
- the original windows
- the original door and window openings
- the higher placement of some windows on the south (front) elevation to better illuminate the barn floor
- the eccentric yet rhythmic combination of doors and windows on the south (front) elevation
- the wood shingle cladding (south, west, and north elevations)
- the steep pitch of the roof
- the placement of the barn as the central part of a perfect courtyard of farm buildings
- the design of the barn to serve as a multi-use area
- the overall good condition of the structure