W. E. Coates and son, John, built this cinder-block barn in 1949 on broad pastureland at the foot of Old Rag Mountain (Shenandoah National Park) in Madison County. The Coateses used the barn for weaning calves, storing hay, and raising cattle. The barn’s dominant feature is its lancet-profile, Gothic-style roof, supported on the interior through a tall, lightly framed system of wood construction that incorporates extra bracing for enhanced stability against heavy winds. The roof system, built by contractor Holden Henshaw and likely adapted from a 1935 article in American Builder magazine, “A WIND-Proof Gothic Barn,” by A. W. Holt, accommodates the windy conditions fostered by Old Rag. Coates added a concrete silo to the barn’s northwest end in 1952. A concrete watering trough, contemporaneous with the barn, stands in front. Coates built his barn during a period of expansion and improved practices in local cattle farming. It stands today as Madison County’s best-preserved representative of the once nationally popular Gothic barn style.
Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark