NEWSLETTER, July 2005, Part ONE
Monday, June 20, A visit with Joseph Manca, a professor of Art from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Originally from the Hudson Valley, Joseph says that they don't know the word stoop (porch) in Texas, something about where the people came from. He had Emailed me previously expressing his interest in early Hudson Valley Dutch architecture and particularly in the "question of stoops, pentices, overhangs and above all, porch formations". I told him it was an interesting area that I hadn't thought about much. I told him of a growing opinion that the Flemish did not put the overhang on Dutch houses on Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley as has been written many times. If you have an opinion or an answer to Joseph's questions, contact him at <email@example.com>
Friday, June 24 Received a letter from Marcella C. Briggs and went with Bob Hedges to visit Catherine Goldsmith Hall, present owner of the _/Goldsmith/Hall 3/bay scribe-rule carriage barn with modern additions (ny/du/rh/0026) located in Rhinebeck on Violet Hill Road at the intersection of route 308.
The Goldsmith family bought this farm on the Landsman Kill in 1925. They moved from Clinton to be nearer the market for violets which they raised in green houses, as did some of their neighbors. They also raised chickens, pigs and sold "Harry J. Goldsmith, Grade A Raw Milk" in returnable bottles.
The barn complex is picturesque in how it relates to the landscape, retaining its traditional unpainted weatherboard siding and painted standing-seam roof, but it is being encroached on by the build up of fill for the road and driveway. It was recently hit by a car and Mrs. Hill would like to have the buildings removed.
Bob felt that the weathered white oak timbers, that are almost all reused and many in need of repair, would not have much value as salvage, and dismantling and clearing the site would be expensive. He thought it best to leave the buildings where they are and suggested a number of simple ways that the early frame section could be stabilized for under $1,000.
The tin roof has fortunately saved much of the upper frame and the rafters. We determined that when the present three-bay frame was re constructed, scribe-rule techniques, used before 1830, were evident in the re use of 18th century parts. For someone looking for a small frame building with lots of weathering and interesting re used timbers this endangered frame might be for them. Also the tin roof is probably reusable.
We located the coordinates of the site (N 4155885 by W 03753250, 265' elevation) with HVVA's new GPS (global positioning device) and took some basic measurements.
If interested in the barns, contact:
The _/Goldsmith/Hall 3/Bay Scribe-Rule Carriage
Saturday, June 25 Four volunteers (*) spent a long morning at the Palatine Farmstead in Rhinebeck (ny/du/rh/0020) putting weatherboards on the north side wall. We used the traditional nailing pattern for attaching barn siding (see drawing on page 7.) but used 3" stainless steel screws instead of hand forged nails so that the boards can be removed easily later. This was not an exterior wall until recently and when the aisle is replaced the siding will be reused on it.
(*) Conrad Fingado, Bob Hedges, Mat Lukaitis and Peter Sinclair.
Sunday, June 26 with Barry Benepe to see the C.W. Brink/Feola 1851 4-room, centerhall, 1 1/2-story, brick, Greek Revival house. Survey # (ny/ul/sa/0041) (N 42'01.536, W 073'59.691, el. 251') owned by Victor and Pat Feola.
The 1851 center-hall Brink house appears to have been built at one time and the summer kitchen added later. The remains of a window frame on the north wall indicate the window served the main house until the addition was made and a door in to it constructed. The addition has an interesting brick stove chimney built into the stone wall of the foundation and supported on a corbel stone.
The eastern half of the cellar has a jambed fireplace, finished beams, joists and trim. The 8 X 8 inch joists are set on 2 foot centers. It seems designed as a kitchen. The western half of the cellar is unfinished and was for storage. It has 1'6" deep opening at the west wall with remains of a trimmer arch. This may have supported a chimney for a stove above. The framing of the cellar has an English feel like that for a center chimney house with summer beams and joists. Internal brick walls in the cellar support the summer beams that support the internal walls above them. This cellar brick wall design was unknown to me.
The exterior stone work of the foundation is made of large, decorative and well dressed stone. The lintels are all of stone. The pitch of the roof is low in character with its modest, unsymmetrical, Greek revival style. It is a vernacular interpretation of the style and retains little of the region's Dutch heritage.
(Above) Exposed First Floor Beams in The Cellar
Saturday, July 2 Received a Call from John Wigen of Cobleskill, who is taking a large barn down at the Fort Plain Museum just west of Canajoharie, in Montgomery County, New York, up in the Mohawk territories. They have discovered what they think are the remains of a circa 1740 stone house, the foundation and one end wall standing within a late 19th century timber framed barn.
On my way I passed through Columbia County and picked up Alvin Sheffer, a good historian to have along. He knew this kind of barn from his neighborhood, a "three bay, two-story ramp barn, two bays have plank floors and one end bay has no floor but serves as storage for a two story pile of loose dry hay for a dairy herd kept downstairs.
The barn, 50-feet wide and 70'6" long, was built in the 1880's. Its pine timbers were cut on a sash-mill. It has a few re-used rafters. They all butt at the peak and are mostly continuous over the purlin. Many of the braces are double, a practice that appears in late. 19th century barn carpentry over quite a (facing north) wide area of the Three Rivers Region (Hudson, Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys).
From what survives of the early 18 x 24foot stone house, indicates it may have been a small two-room dwelling, a center chimney with a 5-plate stove would be perfect. The carefully cut limestone masonry of the one remaining. wall is very well done and similar to that of the nearby 1840 Greek Revival stone house that now serves as the museum on this 65 acre site. One thing of note is the absence of a 2" water table or ledge that is common on stone houses in the Hudson Valley and no one knows why.
It appears that the basement of the circa 1740 stone house was filled at some time. It should be considered to have possibly served the 1880 barn design as an in-ground silo, filled later with wall rubble when a cement floor was put in for a modern dairy. The excavation of the cellar and foundation of the house should reveal much more about its original form.
One puzzle is the integrated footing for a foundation wall set 7'3" from the front of the house. The museum believes that this was for a front porch and mention a nearby example.
Interior of the Barn (facing east)
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