The Historic Barn

The Historic Barn

The Reveres used draft horses to transport finished products such as bells and cannons, as well as raw materials, around the manufacturing site. Paul Revere’s son, Joseph Warren Revere, built a draft horse barn during an expansion of the Revere Copper Company from 1845 to 1855. The barn is one of two surviving buildings of the original Revere Copper Company (the other being The Copper Rolling Mill). The decaying barn was moved to a new foundation and adapted for use as the future home of the museum on the Paul Revere Heritage Site.

Canton Junction around 1880 with the Revere family horse car on the right. The horse car actually rode on rails but was propelled, literally, by horse power. Image courtesy of the Canton Historical Society.

Draft horses were industrial work horses, known for their gentle nature, dependability and strength. One draft horse has pulled close to 45 tons, more than the weight of a semi-truck. A draft horse rises to 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 1,800 pounds. Draft horses were expensive investments; they required lots of food and water (up to 25 gallons per day) and special horseshoes.


The two-story building, a rare surviving structure of its type, was built of rubble stone, wood clapboard and features a slate roof. Designed in the Greek-Revival-Italianate style, its features include:*:


Broad capped corner boards (Greek style)


A Pediment lintel and short gable cornice (Italianate style)


The Reveres used the Barn to preserve their investment in animal power. And they must have had quite a few horses as the Barn has 2,000 square feet on the first floor. In addition to draft horses, Paul Revere used oxen; in 1812, oxen pulled copper from the mill to Philadelphia. The Reveres also leveraged the power made available by a changing technological landscape. After 1834 they negotiated the construction of a rail spur from Canton Junction to their factory, enabling them to transport goods directly to the station.

Located near the barn is the Revere Sluiceway, built sometime between 1835 and 1845. The 125-foot long, 10-foot wide, stone-walled sluiceway connected the Neponset River to the Mill Pond of the Revere Copper Company. Much of the stonewall structure remains intact.

The Historic Barn prior to renovation