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The Gilbert Farmstead

The Gilbert Farmstead (c. 1794)

The Gilbert Farmstead was built in West Brookfield, Mass., by Levi Gilbert and his brother, Peletiah. It has the distinction of being the first building reconstructed at Storrowton Village in 1927.

The house was one of many farmhouses scattered over central Massachusetts where the boot and shoe industry had its beginning. Occupants would peg boots during the winter in a room set aside for that purpose.

Its construction is typical of the houses of the period with hand hewn timbers and wrought iron nails and hardware.

A huge chimney occupies the center of the house, and fireplaces open into most of the rooms. Children would come home to mother cooking over an open fire or performing household chores in the kitchen area such as heating laundry and bath water, making cheese and butter, baking or preparing food for winter storage.

Raised panel woodworking and an open, scallop-shelf corner cabinet reflect the owner’s pride and attention to detail.

Gilbert Farmstead, covered only with tar paper and in disrepair, was taken down board by board, beam by beam, brick by brick, and every piece was numbered to be replaced in its original position when it was reconstructed here in Storrowton Village.
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