Dutch Barn Preservation Society

Dedicated to the Study and Preservation
of New World Dutch Barns

NEWSLETTER, FALL 1999, Vol. 12, Issue 2, Part Two
THE PETER WINNE HOUSE AT BETHLEHEM, NEW YORK: A SITE REPORT, continued
Drawings of the Winne-Creble House

The Addition

The stone section is an addition off to one side of the main house, obvious in the cellar where it butts onto the earlier stone foundation of the two room house. This addition is of field stone except for the gable end of brick. It has original door frames on the east side (an original Dutch door recently went missing) and into the main house. There is an original window frame and molding also on the east side (originally and now a sash window). Other windows have been changed or added (second story gable windows may have original features, also a small window on west side of addition). On the second floor is one original mid-18th century paneled door, casing and molding, the only original door in the house. There is a Georgian style fireplace on the main floor which once had paneling around it (reported to have been put in storage long ago on the second floor and last seen there a year ago, now missing). In the fireplace is an original Oxford Furnace large fireback from Sussex, NJ (now Warren County) held with typical twisted iron bars with the arms of the English monarch, dating to the mid-18th century. This was, however, not the first fireplace. The first was a Dutch open fireplace judging by the framing for such a chimney. That type of fireplace was not built after the 1750/60s, suggesting a date for the addition of that time. The upstairs paneled door dates from about the same time. The original configuration of this main floor is not immediately evident. The stairway is not original though it may be in the original location.

The basement in this added section has finished joists and a fireplace, both confirming that this was a kitchen, whether full time or summer. The fireplace has been rebuilt in recent years, but an arch support in the cellar is original and likely (further inspection needed) part of a Dutch open fireplace.

The east side porch on the addition is fairly recent. It also suffers from a buckling cellar wall below it, the one really serious structural problem in the house, other than a roof leak from tree damage.

Looking at the outside, we find original iron gutter hangers on the west side wall. The small window on this side may have its original frame. Its small size will indicate the specific use and conformation of the space within. On the gable end the wall is all brick in generally original condition (never painted). Two iron wall anchors hold the framework of the original Dutch fireplace frame to the brick wall. The brickwork on the roof edge is not set in "braidwork", indicating that it was not a parapet gable but was sheltered under the roof boards and shingles as now. There is a "kick" to the lower roof shape which may be original (check on this).

Gable of the ell addition of ca. 1750-60. Iron wall anchors (2) served to secure two short wall joists which form part of the framework for the Dutch fireplace on which the hood chimney rested. About 1770-90 the Dutch fireplace was replaced with an English style Georgian fireplace surrounded with paneling (now gone). Notice how the roof springs outward as it approaches the eaves, a feature which appears to be original and only rarely found in the upper Hudson Valley Dutch houses, although common in the lower Hudson Valley and New Jersey and Long Island. Photo by Roderic Blackburn.

Comment

This house in its original form containing two rooms was a true Dutch house of a type rarely seen today. It is almost unique for its urban Dutch character (See the Teunis Slingerland house for a similar configuration). Its original front gable end was and is still brick with fleur-delis wall anchors, original transom light door frame (with distinctive Dutch transom molding rarely seen elsewhere), and, uniquely, its original overhanging molding (there is a small overhang on the rear gable). This indicates that the upper gable was likely not brick but either clapboard or, as in the case of the 922 Broadway Dutch house, shingles. No surviving Dutch house in America has this feature.

In its original configuration, the clapboard side wall extended above the second floor 1-2 feet before the steep roof began. The original rafters have been reused. They show double collar beam mortises and lap joints indicating a high pitched roof. Close examination will reveal the angle they were once set at and thus the exact pitch and shape of the roof. Other reused pieces from the gable end walls may exist and indicate the type of covering (shingle, clapboard) and gable window type and size. The photo of the 922 Broadway house gives one possibility.

Conclusions

This house is still structurally sound even though it is superficially trashed with all manner of household stuff left everywhere inside and out. It looks like a mess. The grounds are grown into heavy weed cover obscuring any view of the 1 5 acres of what was once a Dutch farm close to the VI oman Kill. What appears to be a silted in pond exists just below the house (as does a series of 20th century small animal shelters and a small barn closer to the main road). The setting is actually charming, the house sitting on a rise, shaded by trees, overlooking a bend in the creek) though one would not realize it in its present derelict condition.

Because of the rarity of this type of house and the fact that it is structurally intact, it is definitely worth restoring as an appealing Dutch residence. Likely this could be done within a budget which would still be within the resulting value of the property if it were acquired for a reasonable price. A great project for a young couple with a dedication to a Dutch house and an ability to do the finish work themselves! Whether the second story remains or is restored to its original steep roof form, it is a usable house for a small family or couple. Many of the missing features (windows, doors, moldings, fireplaces) can likely be ascertained from existing evidence and similar houses. The interior could look very much like the interior of the Luykas Van Alen House in Kinderhook (1737), one of the most distinctive Dutch houses in the Hudson Valley.

Unique Anchorbeam Tongue Shape - Trademark of the Same Builder?

By Christopher Albright
It is probable that a builder would have constructed more than one barn throughout his lifetime. However, one does not usually find two Dutch barns that are identical. This could have been because an evolution of sorts took place throughout the builder's life. As he built barns, he improved his design. Or maybe the builder wanted to vary the style from barn to barn to demonstrate his ability or to get away from the boredom of repetition. For whatever reason though, to find two barns that show evidence of the same builder is rare. In southern Albany County, there are two barns which have some characteristics which are the same and which imply that they were built by the same person.

<-The anchorbeam to column joint of the Slingerlands barn showing tombstone shaped anchorbeam tongue. This barn was constructed using the scribe rule. Also notice the strut for the hay manger attached to the anchorbeam to the right of the brace and which is now broken off. The strut was attached to the anchorbeam with three rose head nails.

The anchorbeam to column joint of the Collins barn. This barn was also constructed using the scribe rule. Notice that the anchorbeam tongue has only one wedge as opposed to the Slingeriands barn having two. Photos by Chris Albright.

The two barns are the Collins barn and the Slingeriands barn. They are located in "the Town of Coeymans and are about five miles apart. The Collins barn measures 52 feet wide by 61 feet long and has six bays. The Slingeriands barn is 52 feet wide and 42 feet long and has four bays. The layout of the three aisles is identical. There is a 32 foot center aisle and 10 foot side aisles. The side walls are both 16 feet high. Both have bays that are between 10 and 11 feet wide. The rafters are seated to the wall plate with a birdsmouth cut. The pitch of the roofs is nearly identical because the columns are almost the same height. The most important similarity between these two barns is the unique shape of the anchorbeam tongues. A notch is cut into the tongue on the top and bottom giving it a sort of tombstone appearance. I have observed this style of tongue design on only one other barn. That is the barn now at Granville, New York, which was moved there from the same town that these two barns are in. Because of the rarity of this anchorbeam tongue shape coupled with the similar building dimensions and the close proximity of their location, I believe there is a high likelihood that they had the same builder.


1999 Recipient of the Dutch Barn Repair Grant: The Frederick Barn of Montgomery County, NY

By Thomas Lanni
The Gremps/Fredericks Dutch Barn in Stone Arabia, Montgomery County is undergoing preservation work thanks to the DBPS and its members. The fifty-by-fifty foot Dutch barn, now owned by Thomas Lanni, is benefiting from a $500 matching grant awarded by the Society this summer. The barn is thought to predate the Revolutionary War, having survived Johnson's burning of the valley despite its proximity to the Stone Arabia battlefield. The interior of the barn is unique in the quality of its original fabric, including a complete granary with forged iron bars in its exterior window. An effort is underway to not only keep the eighteenth century barn on its original site, but to also preserve the 200+ years of history and changes in agricultural practice the present building represents.

The 1999 Dutch Barn Repair Grant was awarded to Thomas Lanni, owner of the Gremps/Fredericks Dutch Barn in Stone Arabia, Montgomery County New York. Photo by Chris Albright.

Amish workers under the direction of Rudy Byler have clambered over the barn, patching the leaks and sealing the metal roof. The original wagon doors with wooden hinges on the West gable and the twentieth century sliding replacements on the East gable have both been removed for restoration. Randy Nash of the New York State Barn Company has found large clear pine logs and had them band sawn into 1 x 16 boards to replace the weather-beaten siding on the West facade. The old boards will be removed and salvaged, and the nailing pattern documented so that the new siding will be as true to the original as possible. Much else needs to be done, but the work continues apace, thanks to the commitment of the owner and the generosity of the DBPS and its members.

The Dutch Barn Preservation Society

c/o The Mabee Farm Historic Site
1080 Main St. (Rt. 5S)
Rotterdam Junction, NY 12150

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