William Shultes Barn

From Knox, NY - a Helderberg Hilltown
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photo by Allen Deitz 2005
  • 1800-1810 built by William Shultes, born 1762, was the son of Mathias Shultes, one of the earliest settlers of Berne. Mathias was about ten years old when he came to the Beaverdam about 1851 with his step-father Jacob Weidman and his mother Elisabetha Dietz. Although the identity of Mathias' father is unknown, he is believed to have been from the same area of the Westerwald in Germany as the Dietz family. In 1784 William married Catharina Post, sister of Jacob Post. After she died about 1799 William married in 1800 Catharine Sternberger and built a new house for her in West Berne. William Shultes owned a slave in 1800 according to the federal census of that year.

The barn is 42' wide at the original gable ends and 60' long, the same size as the Jacob Post Barn. A newer attached hay barn adds 22 feet. The addition is wider than the original barn. The older barn has a traditional horse manger with stakes set in holes in the head-high longitudinal struts, rather than nailed in gains as is more common. The cow stalls have homemade plank stanchions with wooden latches that could be original to the barn.

Since this is the same size as the Post barn, it suggests that perhaps they were they built by the same builder. It could be that the same master builder also constructed the Jacob Sholtes Barn which was built for his brother. (The two families spelled their last name differently.)

  • Near the turn of the 20th Century the original threshing floor was preserved by putting raised supports under the barn to keep the floor from rotting. The siding and doors have been replaced. The windows and door above the main door have been added.
  • The barn, now owned by Kenneth and Pamela Malcolm, is on Helderberg Trail, West Berne, just north of the Berne town line. Ken’s dream for the barn is to someday hang farm tools from the posts in an effort to make it look something like an early barn museum.