Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mea Culpa - The Ranslow Smith House in Jefferson County, New York

I made a mistake in my blog post The Ranslow Smith House in Henderson, N.Y. -- Post 359 of (Not So) Wordless Wednesday (posted 13 May 2015), and need to correct it.

After I wrote this post, reader Jean in Jefferson county emailed me and said "I don't think that is the Ranslow Smith house you showed."  Since I have misplaced my paper copy of the Watertown  Daily Times article about "Old Houses of the North Country," Jean sent me a scan of her copy.  Here is the picture of the Ranslow Smith house in the article (#516 in the series, published 7 June 1952):

A comparison of the photo above with my photograph (below) from my visit in 2004 shows that these are not the same building:

Oops!  I don't know how that happened, but it did.

Jean pointed out that the rooflines don't match, and the article says the house was made of limestone, and my photo clearly shows clapboards or similar.

Reader Jean spent several hours perusing the Tax and Assessment information on the Jefferson County website (see http://jefferson.sdgnys.com/), for which I am very grateful.  

She found what I think is the current house in Henderson town on Bishop Street.  Here is a photo of the current house per the property assessment (see the form here):

Comparing this photograph with the newspaper photograph, there is a similarity between the photos, although they were taken from different perspectives.  The right-hand portion of the house in the current photo has a somewhat different window configuration and we can't see the roofline, but we can see that the right side of the right-hand portion of the house is still relatively flat.  The left-hand portion of the house in the current photo has an entryway added, but the small area between the added entry and the right-hand portion of the house looks very similar with a narrow window and a larger window (which may have been a door in the newspaper photo.  

I'm not 100% sure that this is the same house as described in the newspaper article, but it is the closest I saw from the tax assessment photos and descriptions.  Jean found two other houses that were from the 1830-1850 time period.  They may be in the Old Houses newspaper article series, which is online at http://old-houses.nnyln.org/.  The list of articles is at http://old-houses.nnyln.org/old-houses-2.html.  Unfortunately, the link for #516 doesn't bring up the newspaper page PDF for me for some reason.  

now i'm glad that I didn't walk up to the door of the house that I thought was the Ranslow Smith house, because it is apparent to me that it wasn't.

My thanks to Jean for the discussion, the newspaper page, and the hard work of finding candidate houses in Henderson, Jefferson County, New York on Bishop Street.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2015/05/mea-culpa-ranslow-smith-house-in.html

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at randy.seaver@gmail.com.

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