Barn Preservation Society
to the Study and Preservation
of New World Dutch Barns
FALL 1999, Vol. 12, Issue 2
WINNE HOUSE AT BETHLEHEM, NEW YORK: A SITE REPORT
of the older portion of the Winne house showing brick in the
lower part of the gable. The side walls were raised in the middle
to late 19th century lowering the angle of the roof. Photo by
Dutch house of ca. 1734 once at 922
Broadway, Albany. It shows a similar overhanging gable and may
have (not seen because of the shadow) a similar molding. Photo
from the collection of Roderic Blackburn.
By Roderic H. Blackburn
The last quarter of this century has seen a transformation of
old houses in the Hudson Valley. Where once many were used merely
as farm houses, mostly on family farms, and some were even abandoned,
now most have been taken over as historical artifacts and renovated
or restored to the new owners' sense of period or style. Now it
is a rarity to find an "untouched"
(by improvement) early house, so rare it calls for attention in
the same way that Dutch barns do. The following account is of the
Peter Winne house in the Town of Bethlehem, just south of Albany.
It retains features of a distinct type of Dutch house, worthy of
preservation and rehabilitation if a right new owner can be found.
A brief and accurate report of the house (with measured plan) was
published by Roger Scheff in the Mid-Hudson Chapter of the DBPS
Journal/Newsletter of July and August, 1999.
From notes supplied by Allison Bennett, we learn the house is
believed to have been built by Pieter D. Winne (born 1699, married
Rachel Van Alen in 1720). He was the grandson of Pieter Winne who
was known as "Pieter de Vlamingh," born in Flanders. "Vlamingh" meant "Fleming,"
that is, someone from Flanders. The word evolved into "Vlaumins"
and now "Vloman," giving its name to the creek near the
house, the Vloman Kill. The Winne name was possibly of English
origin, as the family fled religious troubles in England.
On the Bleecker map of 1767 the house is #130. Both in terms
of the likely date Winne may have built the house (about the time
of his marriage) and in terms of the structure of the house, it
is likely it was built about 1720, with an addition of about the
The Main House
of the gable overhang and molding. The side wall was originally
clapboards as it is now, though they have been replaced. Photo
by Roderic Blackburn.
The earliest part of the house is a two room structure with a
brick gable up to the second floor, a gable entrance with original
door frame, and the remaining three sides clapboard (originally
so, though new boards extant). In the latter 19th century this
story-and-a-half Dutch house was raised to full two stories, reusing
the original rafters, shortened and set at a lower angle. The structure
is of two nearly equal sized rooms with, originally, back to back
Dutch open fireplaces with a hood chimney, the same as once was
in the Bronk House of 1738 at Coxsackie. The framing is of conventional
Dutch H frame bents with corbels (curved braces). The Dutch fireplaces
were changed circa 1770-80 when the east fireplace was rebuilt
as a Georgian English style fireplace with mantle, still intact.
The other early fireplace was removed and never replaced except
by a later iron stove. All the windows in this two room house have
been altered in later years. They are either changed in size or
entirely new. The stairway to the upstairs is not original but
dates from when the upper story was rebuilt after the Civil War.
The second floor is now a series of small rooms.
View of the west wall showing the original house
on the left and the stone and brick
addition, circa 1750 on the right. Photo by Chris Albright.
The features of this house resemble most closely Dutch houses
built ca. 1730 +/- 15 years in the upper Hudson Valley. Most interesting,
this house has features which are associated with urban Dutch construction:
gable end brick wall only (the remainder clapboard), gable end
entrance, and a gable overhang. In fact a house once at 922 Broadway
may serve as the closest example (see
photo). It also had a second story gable overhang, a feature
found on early urban Dutch houses in the Netherlands.
The gable brick wall is intact. The bricks are laid in Dutch
cross bond. The bricks were originally coated with a paint about
the same color as the brick (in other houses it was a rich red
color), and in the striker lines of the mortar white was painted
(as on other houses.) This gave a more uniform color and even detail
to the facade, much favored by the compulsively neat Dutch. In
the two main rooms of the older section are found corbels (curved
braces) on each post. In one corner of both rooms a corbel was
not originally present but added in this century for symmetry.
In other Dutch houses one such corbel is also missing near the
outer corner of each room, leaving room for a tester bed (rarely,
a cupboard bed, although the Mabee house at Rotterdam had one)
to be installed in this corner.
of corbels. In recent years the corbels were painted white. Originally
it is likely only the waif post was painted while all woodwork
above was left unpainted. Photo by Chris Albright.
Detail of the front door showing the gable molding
and then a transom molding over
the transom light. A similar molding is found on the one door
of the Luykas Van Alen House, 1737. The transom window has been
shortened when a taller door was installed in the 19th century.
Iron wall anchor on the front (east) gable of the
two room house. Wall anchors served to secure an 8 inch brick
wall to the interior load-bearing framework. Photos by Chris
FALL 1999, Vol. 12, Issue 2, part two
Dutch Barn Preservation Society
The Mabee Farm Historic Site
1080 Main St. (Rt. 5S)
Junction, NY 12150
Phone: (518) 887-5073
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