NEWSLETTER, May 2004, Part Three
From the Journal: (Continued)
(Dut-PV-2) Because of the molding profile and the hand-made nails in one of the corner trim boards, we estimated a late 18th century date for construction of the house. Examining its exposed frame inside, it was clear that it consisted of reused parts of an earlier house and that the back aisle, which gave the house its salt box form, was not an add-on but part of the second construction. It would take some time to fully document the changes made to the frame. All of the anchorbeam mortises had been lengthened and the beams raised. Especially noteworthy were the two types of marriage marks used. Race knife lines that crossed the joint of the post and brace were used when laying out the original frame and common 1-inch chisel cut Roman numerals when the beams were relocated. It is said that the original community was settled by many families from New England where the use of a race knife by carpenters may have originated.
(Dut-PV-3) Judging from the Georgian Mantles on the two fireplaces, some of us thought this house across the road from PV-2 may date to the 1760's. Tom was skeptical of this as it would be one of the earliest buildings in town. It is a plan that I have never seen before with two side-by-side ovens in the cellar. It seems to have been designed as a multiple family dwelling or inn. The two houses, PV-2 and PV-3, are abandoned and in danger of looting and destruction without being studied or preserved in any way. The plan and structure of PV-3 in particular should be documented.
(Dut-PV-4) This 18th century side entrance stone barn is unique to the Hudson Valley. It is probably Pennsylvania German in origin. Its frame should be documented. It is protected on a Central Hudson power station site.
(Dut-PV-5) This circa 1770 9-bay Dutch stone house of the Van Wagner (Van Wegenen) family was converted into a barn in the late 19th century. It has new and caring owners. There is clear evidence of its two end-wall jambless fireplaces. It is described by Helen Reynolds with an interesting early photograph, plate 145. in her 1929 book, Dutch Houses of the Hudson Valley.
(Dut-LG-2) "The Baird house," Tom Rinaldi writes, "is thought to have been begun in the 1760's and expanded during the Greek Revival period. It finally underwent a Colonial Revival reconfiguration early in the 20th century. The house was bequeathed to the State of New York in the late 1930's; it is now under jurisdiction of the State OPRHP. Empty since the mid 1970's the building has been allowed to deteriorate and in recent years the State has begun to consider demolition as an 'unavoidable' alternative."
(Dut-LG-3) The last house visited was a large frame house, abandoned and deteriorating, with evidence of 18th century hearths. It is for sale.
Saturday, April 24. About 30 members attended the tour of a small village in the Town of Nassau, Rensselaer County. This collection of houses, objects, stores and workshops, a church, and a large 1787 Inn, are all from the 18th and early 19th century. The buildings were brought to the site and restored to their early conditions. The village was begun by then high school student Don Carpentier in the late 1960's in the east field of his father's farm. It began with a simple "colonial A-frame," built with salvaged parts, which was soon disassembled and replaced with a more historically correct vernacular building. That was joined by other buildings and the whole collection became Eastfield Village, a place that has been an active, ongoing project, important to the field of historic preservation in the northeast. Now in its 28th season, Eastfield Village has been sharing its knowledge of historic preservation, vernacular architecture, and material culture through the hands-on workshops each summer since 1978.
The tour of the village was conducted by Bill McMillan, who has been associated with Eastfield Village since its early years. Bill is the recently retired Supervisor of Restoration at Historic Richmondtown, Staten Island, NY. He will be conducting and helping with some of the ten workshops planned for this summer and doing a 5-day tinsmithing workshop June 14-18, with Robert Adam, Chairman of the Preservation Carpentry Department at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. The class is limited to 8 students, the cost is $425 and the deadline for registration is May 24.
For information visit the "Workshops" section of Eastfield Village's web site (http://daats.com/gac/workshops/classes.htm) or call them at (518) 766-2422.
June 1, 2004
Tom Rinaldi sent the following photographs and additions to the April 17 Pleasant Valley Report before leaving for his Italian stay. He writes that there is still talk among town officials to tear the two small buildings down.
The 1867 Beers Atlas identifies the Dutch frame house as belonging to "Mrs. Flagler" and the Mill Hand's House as belonging to Thomas Gardener and Co., who owned the mill at that time. A report on the Van Wagner stone house puts the house as "probably standing in 1767."
He included two exterior drawings and a photograph of The Flagler House and a 19th century stereo view showing The Mill Hand House in the foreground, the stone mill behind a a covered bridge over the Wappinger Creek.
Peter Sinclair, Editor
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