Captain Joseph Gould Barn -
A Reconstructed 1710 Historical Barn

Download written directions(pdf file).
View interactive map here.

For information on renting the Barn for weddings or events, please see or email: or call 978-219-4940.

Brief History

Captain Joseph Gould BarnTo learn about this barn is to step back into American history. It was built about 1710 and originally stood at 129 Washington Street, about a mile from its present site. It was built by the Goulds, one of the founding familes of Topsfield. Zaccheus Gould came from England about 1639 and took an active role in creating the town, then known as New Meadows, and was one of its leading citizens. The barn’s owner during the Revolutionary War was Joseph Gould, Zaccheus’s great-grandson. Joseph was a farmer who, on December 5, 1774 was elected Captain by the citizens of Topsfield of one of the two Militia Companies. It is recorded that Captain Gould was one of those who, on April 19, 1775, left his plow in midfurrow and galloped off to Lexington and Concord to help drive the Redcoats back to Boston.

Rent a historic barn for your next event! The Gould Barn is available for weddings, parties and meetings. The barn is insulated, heated with a capacity of 99.  It has wheelchair accessibile restrooms and a small kitchen is available. 
For further information please email:

It is his barn that has been restored. The 300 year old white oak timbers clearly show the hand tool marks left by their colonial craftsman. Think of it: this barn was 22 years old when George Washington was born!

The barn was given to the Society in 1982 by Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schiff and carefully dismantled prior to its timbers being stored for future preservation and reconstruction. The key figure in the restoration was the President of the Society, Mr. Norman Isler of Topsfield. Many volunteers were used in the restoration process. Local trees furnished much of the lumber for the reconstruction. Much effort was made to reconstruct the Barn as authentically as possible. Parson Capen had a barn, now long gone, which was contemporary with the Gould Barn. The Gould Barn now reerected on the Capen property will help visitors understand and appreciate more completely life in Colonial Topsfield.

The restoration was made possible by the generosity of many Society members, the community at large, local businesses and corporations and several private foundations. It was constructed largely by volunteers, no government funding was involved. Plaques commemorating their support are on display.

In addition to its preservation for future generations, the Gould Barn serves as a meeting place for the Society and for community events.