The SpaceThe Major General John Stark Room on the second floor of Stark Barn is finished in its original 200 year old barn wood and offers a king size bed, adjoining sitting area, antique furniture including armoire and a private bathroom.
Quests have access to the entire barn lodge. The 1st floor is the common area for use by all guests and includes wine room, laundry and bathroom, a professional kitchen, family/TV room, a chapel and two private offices reserved for your hosts. The barn lodge offers central air conditioning of all common areas and individual control of the temperature in each of the guest bedrooms.
The 2nd floor at Stark Barn is the private sleeping area offering three queen bedrooms (with community bath) and two large king suites (with private baths), The John Stark Master Bedroom and The Caleb Stark Master Bedroom, and a guest bedrooms The Molly Stark Bedroom, The William Stark Bedroom and The Archibald Stark Bedroom. The master bedrooms offer king beds and the quest bedrooms offer queen beds with 2nd floor sitting area equipped with cable TV, computer and writing desk.
The interior of the lodge also includes original barn wood offsetting drywall and used for all flooring planks throughout the barn. Even the kitchen cabinets and vanities are made from 200 year old original barn wood. The barn/lodge is outfitted with New England antiques and furniture from the 1700’s and 1800’s. We added modern beds and leather couches, love seats and reclining chairs for comfort for our guests.
Stark Barn has Cable TVs in all bedrooms, sitting areas and family rooms. Free internet access is available. Guest AccessGuests are allowed access to the entire first floor of the barn lodge and adjoining barn property. There are pastures surrounding Stark Barn that have livestock and other animals owned by your hosts. For safety, guests are not allowed in the pastures without your hosts being present. Interaction with GuestsYour hosts live just three miles from Stark Barn and will welcome you personally, if in town. Summer months may find your hosts sailing S/Y Acadia out of homeport Newport, Rhode Island. If unavailable, a caretaker lives on the property 24/7 in a separate building and is available to handle any of your needs. The NeighborhoodStark Barn is located in Odessa, Florida, a semi-rural equestrian community outside Tampa, Florida. The guest lodge fronts on a dedicated paved bike trail which traverses through protected wilderness areas and extends three counties north along the Suncoast Highway to Hernando County, Florida.
The Upper Tampa Bay Trail is located in residential northwest Hillsborough County. The trail continues south from Stark Barn to Van Dyke Road and north from Stark Barn connecting to the Suncoast Trail at the Veterans Expressway. Although some missing links, eventually the Upper Tampa Bay Bike Trail will connect to St Petersburg, Florida.
The Suncoast Trail is a 42-mile paved trail that stretches from Hillsborough County through Pasco and ending in Hernando County. The shared path is owned by Florida Department of Transportation, Turnpike Enterprise, and operated and maintained by the three counties' Parks and Recreation Departments. The majority of the trail is in Pasco County which is 21.6 miles long.
This trail is part of Florida's statewide system of greenways and trails. You can explore maps and descriptions for this and other trails in Florida at (URL HIDDEN)
There are trailheads located at SR 54 and the Suncoast Parkway with grass parking spaces and paved handicap parking spaces. There are benches along the entire trail and some sheltered tables as well. You will find two wildlife viewing areas on the Pasco section of the trail. There are watering stations along the path that trail staff fills on a daily basis.
You will find certain amenities at some of the intersections such as a port-o-let, restroom, public telephone, water supply or cooler and four information kiosks.
Stark Barn also lies within the Brooker Creek Headwaters, a 1,100 acre wilderness preserve that surrounds the Stark Barn property with hiking trails clearly marked Hillsborough County. Deer and turkey roam the wilderness area daily and most times join our livestock in our farm property.
Stark Farm is one of two private properties within the Brooker Creek Headwaters. The headwaters preserve contain the largest area of contiguous natural habitat remaining in northwest Hillsborough County, public ownership of this preserve ensures protection of important wildlife habitat and the site’s wetlands, which serve as the headwaters of the Brooker Creek system. This property includes a mosaic of forested swamps, floodplains and low-lying uplands. The uplands include pine flatwoods, xeric oak hammocks, and mixed hardwood and pine prairies.
Since 1993, Hillsborough County staff has performed a number of resource inventories that identified an abundance of wildlife and vegetation, some of which are considered threatened or endangered. For this reason, recreational activities on the property are limited to walking and hiking only. Getting AroundStark Barn is conveniently located 20 miles outside Tampa, 30 miles from Clearwater Beach and St Petersburg and a short 10 miles from Tarpon Springs. Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World are 1.5 hours travel time away. Other Things to NoteThe barn was said to be originally built just after the Revolutionary War by Major General John Stark for his son Caleb.
The son of Scottish immigrant Archibald Stark, John Stark was born at Londonderry, New Hampshire on August 28, 1728. The second of four sons, he moved with his family to Derryfield (Manchester) at age eight. Educated locally, Stark first came to prominence in April 1752 when he, his brother William, David Stinson, and Amos Eastman embarked on a hunting trip along the Baker River. During the course of the trip, the party was attacked by a group of Abenaki warriors. While Stinson was killed, Stark fought the Native Americans allowing William to escape. When the dust settled, Stark and Eastman were taken prisoner and forced to return to the Abenaki. While there, Stark impressed his captors with his spirit and wilderness skills and was adopted into the tribe.
Remaining with the Abenaki for part of the year, Stark studied their customs and ways. Eastman and Stark were later rescued by a party sent from Fort No. 4 in Charlestown, NH.
After returning home, Stark planned another trip the following year in an attempt to raise money to offset the cost of his release. Successfully completing this endeavor, he was selected by the General Court of New Hampshire to lead an expedition to explore the frontier. This moved forward in 1754 after word was received that the French were building a fort in northwest New Hampshire. Directed to protest this invasion, Stark and thirty men departed for the wilderness. Though they did find any French forces, they did explore the upper reaches of the Connecticut River.
John Stark - French & Indian War:
With the beginning of the French & Indian War in 1754, Stark began to contemplate military service. Two years later he joined Roger's Rangers as a lieutenant. An elite light infantry force, the Rangers performed scouting and special missions in support of British operations on the northern frontier. In January 1757, Stark played a key role at the Battle on Snowshoes near Fort Carillon. With the battle going against the rangers, he was sent south through heavy snow to bring reinforcements from Fort William Henry. The following year, the rangers took part in the opening stages of the Battle of Carillon.
In 1759, Major General Jeffery Amherst ordered the rangers to mount a raid against the Abenaki settlement of St. Francis which had long been a base for raids against the frontier. As Stark had adopted family from his captivity in the village he excused himself from the attack. Leaving the unit in 1760, he returned to New Hampshire with the rank of captain. Settling in Derryfield with his wife Molly (m. 1758), Stark returned to peacetime pursuits. These were soon hampered by a variety of new taxes, such as the Stamp Act and Townshend Acts, which quickly brought the colonies and London into conflict. With the passage of the Intolerable Acts in 1774 and occupation of Boston, the situation reached a critical level.
John Stark - The American Revolution Begins:
Following the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775 and the start of the American Revolution, Stark returned to military service. Accepting the colonelcy of the 1st New Hampshire Regiment on April 23, he quickly mustered his men and marched south to join the Siege of Boston. Establishing his headquarters in Medford, MA, his men joined thousands of other militiamen from around New England in blockading the city. On the night of June 16, American troops, fearing a British thrust against Cambridge, moved onto the Charlestown Peninsula and fortified Breed's Hill. This force, led by Colonel William Prescott, came under attack the next morning during the Battle of Bunker Hill.
With British forces, led by Major General William Howe, preparing to attack, Prescott called for reinforcements. Responding to this call, Stark and Colonel James Reed rushed to the scene with their regiments. Arriving, Stark deployed his men behind a rail fence to the north of Prescott's redoubt on top of the hill. From this position, they repulsed several British attacks and inflicted heavy losses on Howe's men. As Prescott's position faltered as his men ran out of ammunition, Stark's regiment provided cover as they withdrew from the peninsula. When General George Washington arrived a few weeks later, he was quickly impressed with Stark.
John Stark - Continental Army:
In early 1776, Stark and his regiment were accepted into the Continental Army as the 5th Continental Regiment. Following the fall of Boston that March, it moved south with Washington's army to New York. After aiding in bolstering the city's defenses, Stark received orders to take his regiment north to reinforce the American army that was retreating from Canada. Remaining in northern New York for much of the year, he returned south in December and rejoined Washington along the Delaware. Reinforcing Washington's battered army, Stark took part in the morale-boosting victories at Trenton and Princeton later that month and in early January 1777. At the conclusion of the campaign, the army moved into winter quarters at Morristown, NJ and much of Stark's regiment departed as their enlistments were expiring.
To replace the departed men, Washington asked Stark to return to New Hampshire to recruit additional forces. Agreeing, he left for home and began enlisting fresh troops. During this time, Stark learned that a fellow New Hampshire colonel, Enoch Poor, had been promoted to brigadier general. Having been passed over for promotion in the past, he was incensed as he believed Poor was a weak commander and lacked a successful record on the battlefield. In the wake of Poor's promotion, Stark immediately resigned from the Continental Army though he indicated that he would serve again if New Hampshire was threatened. That summer, he accepted a commission as a brigadier general in the New Hampshire militia, but stated that he would only take the position if he was not answerable to the Continental Army.
John Stark - Bennington:
After assembling a force of around 1,500 men at Manchester, Stark received orders from Major General Benjamin Lincoln to move to Charlestown, NH before joining the main American army along the Hudson River. Refusing to obey the Continental officer, Stark instead began operating against the rear of Major General John Burgoyne's invading British army. In August, Stark learned that a detachment of Hessians intended to raid Bennington, VT. Moving to intercept, he was reinforced by 350 men under Colonel Seth Warner. Attacking the enemy at the Battle of Bennington on August 16, Stark badly mauled the Hessians and inflicted over fifty percent casualties on the enemy. The victory at Bennington boosted American morale in the region and contributed to key triumph at Saratoga later that fall.
John Stark - Promotion At Last
For his efforts at Bennington, Stark accepted reinstatement into the Continental Army with the rank of brigadier general on October 4, 1777. In this role, he served intermittently as commander of the Northern Department as well as with Washington's army around New York. In June 1780, Stark took part in the Battle of Springfield which saw Major General Nathanael Greene hold off a large British attack in New Jersey. Later that year, he sat on Greene's board of inquiry which investigated the betrayal of Major General Benedict Arnold and convicted British spy Major John Andre. With the end of the war in 1783, Stark was called to Washington's headquarters where he was personally thanked for his service and given a brevet promotion to major general.
Returning to New Hampshire, Stark retired from public life and pursued farming and business interests. In 1809, he declined an invitation to attend a reunion of Bennington veterans due to ill health. Though unable to travel, he sent a toast to be read at the event which stated, "Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils." The first part, "Live Free or Die," was later adopted as the state motto of New Hampshire. Living to the age of 94, Stark died on May 8, 1822 and was buried in Manchester.
Stark Barn is a very unique experience and a “must stay” as the Revolutionary War era is depicted in pictures, books, antiques and in the spirit of the barn.
A book with the Memoir and Official Correspondence of General John Stark with Notices of Several Other Officers of the American Revolution written by his son Caleb Stark is available in each room
Stark Barn offers a large stone front porch with rocking chairs all for watching bicyclers and joggers traversing on the Upper Tampa Bay Trail.
Plenty of parking onsite.