NEWSLETTER, September 2005
on graphics/photos for larger view)
THE JOURNAL: Friday,
August 5 Red Hook Patsy Vogel had arranged for us to see two
sites on Spring Lake Road, Red Hook.Dutchess County.
Craig Vogel, Bob Hedges and I went first
to see the farm of Larry Thetford and
Dutch barn and
frame house (ny/du/re/0011) coordinates
N 42'01.331 W 073'49.694; elevation
is thought by the Feller family to be the original frame house
built in 1746 by Nicholas Feller, a 1710 Palatine immigrant. The
large original farm was subdivided later for the
children. The next farm visited a short distance down the road was probably
one of these
subdivisions. We registered it:
early side-entrance barn and
frame house (ny/du/re/0012) coordinates
N 42'01.331 W 073'49,842; elevation 206'
are two sites that should be studied more carefully. The square-rule
Thetford Dutch barn probably dates to the circa 1820-1830's but
may be on the site of the original barn. It is up hill from the
1746 house but the roof lines are not parallel. The original house
is now a wing off the back of a two story Victorian. The original
has a Dutch anchorbeam construction, probably two-rooms, but much
of the frame is hidden and it is difficult to know the original
fireplace type, roof pitch or the height of the knee-wall. 24-feet,
is wide for a Dutch house,
but the one exposed beam at the back of the house is massive. The
house has grooved posts for riven lath with mud and straw infill.
The rafters are not original. It has a partial cellar of three-bays
bellow the back room. An accurate assessment of the house can only
be made when more of the frame is exposed.
Dutch Barn Complex
house that is visible from the road is Victorian
but the wing behind contains parts of the original 1747 frame house.
|_/Shutz/Gonzalez-Stewart Side-Entrance English
Barn with Added Bav
Perhaps the house had a gable entrance
facing the road. This is the plan that has been deduced for the
Franz Nehr house in Rhinebeck from about the same period and it
is interesting that
Franz's daughter or sister (?), Anna Marian Nehr, married Nicholas
Feller who together began this local line of inter related families.
They buried their dead at the nearby Red Hook Reformed Church until
1818 when the church refused to bury Felton Feller, a 31-year-old
man with a tainted reputation, so the Fellers established their
own cemetery and eventually surrounded it with a carefully laid
field stone wall and an iron gate. The door posts are of massive
cut bluestone, a material noted for its endurance, and the wall
is caped with large slabs of the same stone, all of which was quarried
and finished in Ulster County. Sometimes these types of heavy loads
were brought across The Hudson River on sleds in winter when it
The Gonzalez-Stewart barn is a well preserved mid 18 th century
hybrid. It has a very Dutch style of framing, with raising holes
and a rare major/minor rafter system that suggests the barn was
originally thatched. It began as a three-bay side entrance drive
through barn, a plan that is called English. Some of its carpenter
marriage-marks, Roman numerals cut with straight chisels, have
flags, flags are a marking system associated with German carpentry
and found also in the Silvernails barn, another well preserved
early hybrid barn in Pine Plains, Dutchess County. The wagon doors
on both sides of the Stewart barn were originally harr-hung.
did not examine the Stewart frame house. The original,
we are told, is the east and center section of the present
house. Spring Lake Road was an important route into Massachusetts
and Connecticut and originally the road ran between the
barn and the house that served as an inn and a place
to collect road toll. There is a short connecting road
to the east of these two farms named "Star Barrack".
No one knows for sure the meaning of the name.'Some have
suggested it refers to a 5-pole hay barrack.
Feller Cemetery and Family Genealogy
to Sunday, August 12 to 14 About
50 people attended
a conference on "The Dutch House" organized by
Don Carpentier and Bill McMillan and held at Eastfield
Village, a remote reconstructed village in the town of
Nassau, Rensselaer County. Eastfield Village is an important
place in The Hudson Valley for hands on tr aining in the
restoration crafts. It also has a large collection of historic
tools and architectural artifacts that Bill and Don have
collected over the years, and most important are the memories,
records and documentation of the restoration craftsmen
who have worked on early buildings and the architectural
and cultural historians who have studied and written about
New World Dutch vernacular architecture. The conference
was to bring them together.
was a dedicated crew of people who endured four slide lectures
per day in a small crowded church with the heat reaching
95-degrees by sun down. The times between were welcome.
There was a lot of good exchange among the participants
and thoughts of a re-union.
from aerial photograph
Stevens showed measured drawings and photographs and talked
about some of the Dutch houses in his forthcoming book,
Dutch Vernacular Architecture in America 1640-1830, being
published by HWA.
Gehring, a translator of early Dutch manuscripts with a
broad historic and cultural interest, gave an introduction
to 17 th century Dutch history and economics and stressed
the importance of New World Dutch architecture as the most
accessible record of its uniqueness.
Kelley spoke in detail about the recent moving of the 1751
Daniel Winne House from Bethlehem, Albany County, to The
Metropolitan Museum of Art on Manhattan Island. Don Carpentier
expressed his regret that this house will not be used to
interpret its architecture but will be reduced it in size
to fit a small room in the American Wing, as a backdrop
for the museum's Dutch/American furniture and art.
is a feeling among vernacular architecture preservationists
that there should be an order to the list of possibilities
for what action is taken when an historic building is threatened.
Second choice is to move it to a public site nearby. Cannibalizing
an important building for parts is near the bottom of the
Brian Parker could not attend, Bill McMillan showed a few
slides and talked about the 1723 Peter Winne House, that
Brian, with John Steven's help, is slowly restoring to
its original condition. It was a neighbor and an early
model for the 1751 Daniel Winne House of the Met.
Piwonka spoke about early Dutch gardens. Rod Blackburn
talked on the furnishings of a Dutch house. Hank Meeske
on the social changes that affected the Dutch House and
Alex Greenwood & Elric Endersy showed photographs and
drawings of the many timber framed barns and outbuildings
they have moved, restored and documented in New Jersey.
They showed the many variations of the angled wall corn
crib and of the English-Dutch hybrid frames. Clifford Zink
gave a well organized power point presentation on Dutch
houses he has documented for many years in New Jersey.
He has organized the sites in an Access data base program,
the same being used in The Dutch Cultural Resources Survey
conference ended with Bill MacMillan's presentation of
his research into early window frames and doors in Dutch
Houses that he did in the 1980's for the restoration of
the Vorleeser House on Staten Island.
Part Three, Newsletter
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