Sweet Goat Farm
Westport, MA

The Oscar Palmer Farm


North Parlor fireplace (beehive oven at upper right), mid-restoration, Fall 2011


Our restored c. 1905 Herald base heater (burns coal or wood).  Restored by the Antique Stove Hospital, Little Compton, RI


Cedar roofs complete on house and barn, December 2011


Reshingled north wall of the barn (with hay mow door) and milk house with its new cedar roof, Fall 2012.


Blacksmith's Shop (in background), mid-restoration, Summer 2012.  In the foreground are 2 other sheds


our used Case tractor

View of the barnyard from the back pastures
House
Restoration of the house is nearly complete.  The lovely center chimney stack was repaired and brought up to code (lined with new smoke shelves and dampers).  We can now enjoy the north parlor fireplace, complete with the original, restored beehive oven; its smaller sister in the south parlor (complete with fieldstones, not brick, for the back wall); and a modern thimble in the west parlor for our pot-bellied c. 1907 coal stove.

A new cedar roof was laid, the original skylight on the north face was replaced, and two new skylights on the south face are installed (affording views of the back pastures and permitting sunlight and airflow into the garrett).

1950's era hardwood floors on the main level were removed to allow inspection and repair of the original beams and sills.  A proper crawl space was dug (most of the house was built essentially on the ground) and a vapor barrier was installed.  New/old antique wide pine flooring is now down.  The original floors on the 2nd floor were restored, repaired, lighted sanded, and oiled, and their worm-holed honeyed patina is glorious.  Loads of oakum was used to patch those giant gaps between floor boards!

The roof and walls are now insulated (the original was NOT!!!).  Interior walls have been plastered to retain the character of the original, and new cedar shingles cover the house exterior.  

All-new septic, electrical, plumbing, and kitchens/baths are in place.  A stroke of good luck on our part:  two working wells already exist on the property (the original dug well capped by an antique millstone and a newer deep-driven well).

Window and shed restoration (including the blacksmith shop) will commence this summer. 
Barn
The English bank barn (built into a slope so that animals could live underneath the barn), like the house, was in amazingly good structural shape.  A large colony of bats had made the hay loft their home for many years, as evidenced by the 4" of bat guano Norman shoveled out while wearing a respirator and Tyvek suit.  The huge hay mow doors on the north face (which had been shingled over in the 1950's) have been uncovered and re-framed so we can hoist our hay into the loft (we intend to hay our front fields).   

With a new cedar roof, shingles, and windows nearly complete, the barn has been brought back to its former glory.  We have repaired the 2 sets of antique sliding doors and their tracks and are grateful for the gift of two antique barn lights from our friends at the Antique Stove Hospital in Little Compton, RI.

As is the case with many bank barns, our animals will live under the barn.  The main level (which was originally used as a threshing floor for the wheat, and later as an antique shop) will become our creamery, commercial kitchen, and farm store. 

Blacksmith's Shop
One of the most charming buildings on the property, this workshop had a vaulted plaster ceiling and an annex storage room.  The work bench and vise have been removed from the workshop to allow for the restoration, but will be re-installed elsewhere on the property.  The fireplace in the shop has been restored to working order with its own tiny c. 1910 pot-bellied coal stove.

We plan to use this largest outbuilding as a guest cottage.

Land
Each nook and cranny of the farm's 29 acres is unique.  The 4-acre "barnyard" contains the house, barn, and 5 small outbuildings.  The front hay fields and back pastures total about 9 acres, and the woodland containing the meandering Angeline Brook makes up the remaining 15 acres.  A natural spring and cress pool that feeds into the brook draws wildlife year-round, and hawks and owls abound.  

This lovely view of a bend in Angeline Brook is from the snowy winter of 2012-2013.

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