|One of the Surviving Barns at 300 Pleasure Drive, Flanders; East Elevation|
Back to the subject at hand: a very interesting barn in the hamlet of Flanders. This barn is one of several surviving agricultural buildings on what was at least a 15 acre farm a long time ago, and only very briefly. It is situated on Pleasure Drive, a road which connects Flanders to East Quogue and Westhampton. Originally (or, a long time ago), the property was owned by the Benjamin family. In 1945, Mrs. Ida Benjamin sold the property to Mr. Adrian Allan of Westhampton. Allan had been a NYC stock brocker and decided to have a go at farming - potatos and cauliflower specifically. He failed miserably after giving it his best for a couple of years, maybe because the soil just wasn't suited for it at that location - who knows. So he regrouped and tried again, this time turning the whole operation into a woodwork mill.
My question is, why did the barn have a tower? It is a three-story, multi-level, wood-frame structure on a concrete block foundation with a gambrel roof.....and a tall, square tower with a balcony and railing at the top. Was it a lookout to enjoy the Pine Barrens view? Did it house the machinery of a vertical band saw? Did it collect saw dust that could then be drop-loaded into trucks? Or was a water tank somehow involved in the millwork process? These are the questions I pose to you. If you Google the term "barns with towers" you will, of course, see a lot of silos. If you use the term "mill tower" you will, of course, see a lot of windmills. This was neither, and not so terribly old either, maybe circa 1910. Any guesses?