Hops

The Seeb Pyramid Kiln

The Seeb Pyramid Kiln (named after the current owners of the property), is an example of a hop barn that was built at the peak or just past the peak of New York's hop growing era.  It is more elaborate than most pyramid kilns, and was obviously the central feature of a working family farm.  The kiln area may have been adapted later to store farming equipment, and over the years it has suffered from the usual deterioration of upstate weather.

This property, by the way, is currently for sale, and consists of a fully renovated, very large farmhouse, the hop barn, two other barns, and a small stone smokehouse.  A deck looks out over scenic Lake Candarago, and it is situated between Schuyler Lake and Richfield Springs, in northern Otsego County.   For information, you can contact the owners.


One can hardly forget the first time this beauty comes into view.
The picturesque Seeb pyramid kiln, northern Otsego County.

 

This barn was probably built in the late 1880's.
This classic is reminiscent of European kilns.
The furnace was fired with either wood or coal. Left: Notice the small, circular furnace vent on the side of the kiln.

 

The top of the pyramid was used to vent the heat rising up from the furnace and through the drying hops.
Close-up of the beautiful roofing of the barn.

 

In this barn, the plaster helped to insulate the walls and keep the heat in the kiln area.
Interior of the kiln area, looking back into the storage area.

 

The heat from the furnace rose through the slats and burlap covering of the floors above, where the picked cones were spread out for drying.
Close-up of the lath and plaster of the kiln area.
After being dried in the kiln, the cones were shoveled into the storage area, awaiting baling.
This kiln has an unusually high storage and press area.

 

The amount of windows is unusual on hop barns as well.
Over the years, the sides were rotted away by growth.

 

Often times social events were held in these areas.
Interior, ground floor of the storage area.
From above, the hops were shoveled into a press chute, pressed and then sewn into bales for the market.
Chute for the hop press, probably a ratchet style.

 

The walls in this barn are covered with the scribblings of the migrant workers and notations of the farmers getting ready for market.
Stairs leading to the second floor of the storage area.
 

 

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2001, Upstate Chunk & Paradigm Company.