The historic 17th century Barn House in Chilmark, home to an avant-garde communal colony of Vineyard artists, writers and intellectuals, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, the Massachusetts Historical Commission has announced. The compound is the first location in Chilmark to be named to the national historic register, and joins other Vineyard landmarks such as the Gay Head Cliffs, the village of Edgartown, the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs and the five Island lighthouses.

The South Road home dates back to 1690 and is nestled in the heart of agrarian Chilmark on 43 acres of rolling hills, overlooking Lucy Vincent Beach. Formerly known as the Skiff-Mayhew-Vincent house, Barn House was home to a number of patron Vineyard families, and later in the early 1900s became a retreat for writers, artists and social activists. Journalist and political commentator Walter Lippmann, poet Sylvia Plath, painter Thomas Hart Benton and American Civil Liberties Union founder Roger Baldwin were all summer visitors there. In 1919 a group of friends bought the property and formed a communal colony that still thrives today.

Structures on the property include a small, shingled former farmhouse dating to 1690 and one of the oldest buildings on the Vineyard, a barn built in 1786 and several small cabins from the first part of the 20th century, each named after the families who built them.