Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cobblestone Museum, Upstate New York

Last weekend, my husband and I visited Upstate New York, passing through cobblestone country where many, many old homes are faced with cobblestone. (Cobblestones are loosely described as a rounded stone small enough to hold in one hand.)

I've been interested in cobblestones ever since I discoverd a farmhouse faced with it in EG, which you can see here.

Traveling back roads and smaller highways, we passed through Childs, which boasts of the Cobblestone Society Museum, a former Universalist Church built in 1834 of...you guessed it...cobblestone. Our car's tires screeeee-eeeeched to a stop. ;-) Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do! LOL

In my words, this is some of what the plaques said: As early settlers moved westward along the southwestern edge of Lake Ontario and into Ohio, Illinois, Minnesota and Ontario, they built approximately 1,000 to 1,200 cobblestone buildings.

But would you believe 90 per cent of those remaining today are found within a 75-mile radius of Rochester, New York?
Local masons who’d worked on the Erie Canal -- built between 1817 and 1825 to connect Buffalo (on Lake Erie) with New York City (on the Atlantic Ocean) -- constructed these homes, which soon became status symbols.

Where did all those cobblestones come from? Well, approximately 12,000 years ago, the last glacier retreated, leaving behind an immense supply of rounded stones in Canada and the Northern United States – boulders, cobblestones and pebbles.
This house, The Ward House, is situated on the plot adjacent to the museum. It was built in 1840.


Kerri said...

What a fabulous post! I didn't know any of this info before!
Blogging is so educational!!

Ex-Shammickite said...

I've just come back from 3 wonderful weeks visiting family and friends in England, and there are lots of these houses there... specially faced with flint, sometimes napped flint. It makes a very attractive pattern on the walls of the houses.
And where I live here in south York Region many of the front porches of the older houses were replaced in the 1930s by verandahs made of cobblestones.
I've been checking back at your previous posts that I missed while I was away, you have some lovely photos!

dot said...

Well, I sure didn't know all that! The cobblestone is really beautiful.
Thank you for your birthday wishes!!

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a very informative post. And I enjoyed the photography a lot. It is not easy to lay up a cobblestone wall. Whoever did these knew how to do it to last.

sonia a.m. said...

Great post! Wonderful houses!

Lilli & Nevada said...

I love the photos, and the information. I just love these kind of buildings. so much history in old buildings

reader Wil said...

I'm always amazed that people are so inventive as to use natural sources for building their houses, but it is really impressive when this is done so beautifully.
Thanks for your visit.

Sue Freeman said...

Anyone interested in cobblestone buildings should pick up a copy of "Cobblestone Quest - Road Tours of New York's Historic Buildings" at http://www.footprintpress.com. It describes the history and methodology of building cobblestone buildings and offers 14 driving tours throughout western NY State so you can see the variety in person. You can tour inside museums, stay in B&Bs and eat in cobblestone restaurants. It makes a wonderful vacation. This pre-Civil War technique was used to build houses, churches, factories, smokehouses, grave markers, schools, stagecoach taverns, barns,etc.

see you there! said...

And here I always thought cobblestones were just used to make streets. Fun to learn something new.


Old Wom Tigley said...

Oh! this is a fantastic use of local stones

Small City Scenes said...

Great pics. Very interesting information. that's what I love about blogginh---I learn so much. MB

Dina said...

This is wonderful, both the photos and the information! From glaciers! I love anything about stones (I do fieldwork in archaeology for a living).
Shalom from Jerusalem.

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.