Housing styles in a mill town in the late 19th Century

Discussion of the types of dwellings in a mill town in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Form and function of building styles for homes in northern New York ca. 1900.

Housing Styles

Origina ( built in the late 19th Centur) l Mill built and owned house on Reynolds Mill Road 1969

Reynoldston’s houses revealed a great deal about the community. Most of the laborers’ houses lining the Eddy Road were essentially alike; simple gabled structures completely devoid of the ornamentation so common in the era in which they were built – the 1890s and early 1900s. Many were constructed by Reynolds Brothers carpenters and rented to the mill workers and loggers. They were in fact uniform “company houses”, examples of which can be seen in old industrial neighborhoods and mill towns throughout the United States. 

The houses were small, most having only two to three rooms down and two up. As families grew in size, the houses usually did not. Census records may explain why: children were often working (and possibly living away from home) by age 17. So even large families were not all together at the same time.  

At the mill end of Reynoldston, Orson and Newton Reynolds’ houses stood out. Orson’s one-and-a-half story house, probably built in the 1870s, was likely the oldest in the community. Similar houses had been common in New England since at least the 18th century. Throughout the North Country, many farm owners’ houses were very similar to Orson’s, while hired men’s houses tended to look much like laborers’ simple houses along the Eddy Road. 

The most elaborate and modern house ever constructed in Reynoldston belonged to Newton Reynolds. It stood not far from Orson’s house, near the mill. Built about 1900 in the Queen Anne style popular at the time, it boosted a tower from which to view Reynoldston and the surrounding countryside. Inside, there was a special room for Newton’s hunting trophies. The house sent a clear signal of where the wealth in Reynoldston resided. 

The Reynolds houses and Mill, however, proved to be impermanent. While a few of the loggers’ houses are still standing, the mill buildings and Orson and Newton Reynolds’ houses were torn down for the wood, possibly as early as the 1930s.

Gallery

Original Reynoldston Homes 1969/70/71

Photos of the esisting original house and building stock in Reynoldston during the time time inteviews for Reynoldston took place. At the time only 3 families lived in the community year round: Eugene Bordeaux. Tom & Jenny Campbell and his brother another Campbell. The houses are sorted in the order you would see them driving south on the Eddy Road and on the Mill Road in order to the first to last also.

[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_eddy-road-reynoldston-1969.jpg]430Eddy Road 1969, look south
Reynoldston NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_moquin-family-home-reynoldston-1969.jpg]500Moquin Family Home, originally built by Philias Moquin, 1969
Reynoldston NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_009.jpg]490Tom and Jenny Campbell home - f
This house was originally built by his father Joseph Campbell one of the earliest settlers in Reynoldston and added onto by Tom. Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_albert-bordeaux-home-1969.jpg]530Albert Bordeaux home 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-mill-house-cameron-camp-reynoldston-1969.jpg]500Original Mill home 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-mill-house-eddy-road-1969.jpg]460Original Mill house on the Eddy Raod 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_eugene-daisy-bordeaux-home-original-mill-house-1969.jpg]510Eugene and Daisy Bordeaux home 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_french-family-home-reynoldston-1969.jpg]520French Family home 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_school-house-that-was-moved-from-mill-1920s.jpg]540School house, formerly garage at the The Reynolds Mill - 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-mill-house-reynoldston-1969.jpg]460
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_entrance-to-mill-road-from-eddy-road-reynoldston-1969.jpg]420
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-mill-house-on-mill-road-reynoldston-1969.jpg]430Original Mill house on the MIll road 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-house-on-reynolds-mill-road-1969.jpg]460Original Mill house on the Mill Road, 1969
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-mill-house-on-mill-road-once-beaman-summer-camp-1969.jpg]400Original mill house on the mill road 1969
Once owned by Betraice Reynolds Beaman as a summer camp
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-home-reynoldston.jpg]420Original Mill house, Eddy Road 1971
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-home-across-from-gravel-pit-reynoldston-ny.jpg]450Former Reynolds Bros. Company House across from gravel pit that once belonged to the Reynolds Mill
Reynolston, NY
[img src=http://www.reynoldstonnewyork.org/wp-content/flagallery/original-reynoldston-homes-1970/thumbs/thumbs_original-log-cabin-reynoldston.jpg]390Original Log Cabin, Eddy Road 1971
Reynolston, NY

 

 

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