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Sitting in the valley of the Merrimack river .... is Bow NH. “The only Bow on earth”, as the locals say.. Gone are the large white pines that were tagged for the King of England to be used by the Royal Navy as ships masts. Gone also are the vast majority of the farm lands and orchards that once covered the Bow hills. Many of the stone walls that were created when this land was cleared for farming still remain throughout the woods as a memory of what once was.

Though this rocky soil is not known as the best for growing, it did offer good growing conditions for the staples of wheat, corn, rye, and potatoes, during the early 19 century. Many of the vegetables of today were not common at this time, including the tomato, which was thought to be a poison. In addition, beans, peas and turnips were also cultivated. `Apples were an important crop and were grown for eating fresh and were stored over winter, and cider was an essential part of the culture

Oxen were used for plowing the fields, horses mainly being used for transportation. Sheep and cows were also an integral part of the lives of the farming families. Barns were essential for the protection of the animals from the elements and from the wild animals as well as for the storage of crops and fodder. This is also the time when a bounty was being paid for crows.

This Project “The Barns of Bow” attempts to document some of these structures of this bygone era for some of the well made and sturdy barns still exist, in one form or another. It was in 2009 that Bow Photographer Eric Anderson, and fellow Bow resident and Architect Tom Campbell Wilson, started this documentation. At this time, there were approximately 44 barns still in existence. We were able to document 33 of these, and as of todays date, 02.23.2021, three of these barns have disappeared.

Eric has been interested in the barns of bow for sometime, He has published a poster and a calendar on the barns among other works. The local library will also have an exhibit of Eric's barn photos starting in March of 2021

web design by "Tom Campbell Wilson".
Eric Anderson: Photographer

photo of cow being kissed submitted by Briana Gulla