|Aerial view of the Jeanes Barn remains|
The barn was erected by Abel Jeanes in 1832 and sits sort of away from everything else, on the east side of Pike Creek. The general consensus for why Jeanes built it over there was to place it a safe distance away from any stray sparks that might escape from the lime kilns. Aside from its placement, the most outstanding feature of Jeanes' barn has always been its size. For many years after its construction, it was thought to be the largest barn in Delaware. It's not known exactly why it was built so large, but I put forth two possible explanations -- one serious and one semi-serious. My serious theory is that it was so big because of all the livestock Jeanes owned and needed to house. To do the heavy work of hauling around cartloads of lime, at the time the barn was built Jeanes owned 38 horses and 10 or 12 yoke of oxen. In this way I look at it as being as much a 19th Century parking garage as a barn. An alternate explanation is that from what we know of Abel Jeanes himself, he might have built the barn so large just because he could. He was not exactly what you'd call a shrinking violet.