Writing by Candlelight

Dorothy's Blog

History of My House

My house is 210 years old! This picture is from a talk I did to the Town of Paris Historical Society about it.
It was built by the first settler in East Sauquoit, NY, Spencer Briggs.
This investigation of my house began in earnest a few months ago when I started doing research for a new book series I am planning to write about this area.
When we bought the house in 1977, we received this one-page history of it from the previous owners:

“Sauquoit – November 10, 1918
     Here is just a little history of my home, for the benefit of the one who has it when goes out of my possession.
      It was built about the year 1800, (as near as Mr. Allen’s mother could remember), by a man named Briggs. There was no saw mill near so the timbers are all hewn timbers, some being the whole trunks of trees with the bark on as can be seen in the cellar. It was put up as a raising, same as a barn. The frame was pinned same as a barn. The great posts of red and white elm in all the corners. Then pinned with 2-inch planks as high as the attic floor. The original clapboards were very wide. And all the nails used were hand-made nails. The floors are hemlock boards and were all lined floors. The brick partitions in the cellar were made of the bricks taken out of the old fashioned fireplaces many years ago by Jared S. Allen’s Grandfather, Jared Todd.
     In the year 1905, Jared S. Allen repaired the house, putting on new clap boards, new windows, and new window frames, also a cornice and a front porch. He moved the stone steps out where they now are and added the cement steps, and painted the house. He also scraped all the old paper off all the rooms and the hall, took out the chair railing, and painted and papered every room. We also put in a furnace.
      The well is 28 or 30 feet deep, is excellent water and very cold in hot weather. It has never known to be dry.
     A new floor was put over the old ones. The sitting room, kitchen, and front and back hall making 3 floors in that part of the house. We had the walls and coping to the outside cellar door made.
      The barn was repaired, then raised up, and a stone foundation put under the center of the floor. It was newly covered and painted. There is a well with a living spring running into it partway up in the lot and about an acre of wood lot, which makes the place more valuable. The water could be piped to the house and barn easily.”

Beams in the cellar with the bark
still on them:



                                                                         The  brick wall  made from the  bricks                                                                in the old fireplaces as stated in the letter.

 Some artifacts found in the cellar walls:







I continue my research and am finding out more and more about the house and it’s occupants.


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