Saturday, April 29, 2017

Silvester Gilbert House

Gilbert Notes

The Gilbert house was a Georgian style stone house built in about 1821 by early resident Silvester Gilbert. Georgian style homes were prevalent in the thirteen colonies throughout the 18th century. These homes typically are constructed of stone or brick with a symmetrical arrangement of windows and doors on the front of the building. Windows are usually multi-paned sliding sash windows in a 6 over 6 pattern. The front door may have a transom window over it. The Gilbert family lived in this house for 50 years. Silvester Gilbert was born in Otego, New York on September 24, 1787. He came to Ogdensburg in 1810 establishing himself as a hatter. After the War of 1812 he formed a partnership with Judge Averill as a merchant. This partnership was dissolved in 1818. Silvester Gilbert was a prominent early citizen of the village of Ogdensburgh. Among his many accomplishments was helping to form one of the first Masonic lodges in Ogdensburg, becoming a Master in 1826. He held many state offices for the Masons and was a member for 55 years. He was elected Supervisor of the Town of Oswegatchie and was a delegate in 1839 when General William Henry Harrison was nominated for president. On the local level, he was elected village clerk in 1817, village trustee in 1832, and village president in 1835 and 1856. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 1827 as a Whig. Gilbert was named a commissioner of the Oswegatchie Navigation Company in 1831, which was formed to dig canals linking Black Lake, Gouverneur and Canton. He was elected as a vestryman and warden of the Episcopal Church and was instrumental in completing the building of St. John’s Episcopal Church here in Ogdensburg. The Ogdensburg Academy was established in 1835 with Gilbert listed as one of its trustees. He married Lois Ranney in 1818, who died in 1819. They had one son. Lois Ranney was the daughter of Capt. Seth Ranney, who served in the War of 1812 and Eleanor Matthews. He then married Nancy Ann Seymour, daughter of David and Nancy Seymour. They had 12 children. Silvester Gilbert died in 1865 and is buried in the Ogdensburgh Cemetery. After his death his fellow masons passed a resolution which said “his life has been characterized by a high tone of moral worth which won for him the regard of his fellow citizens.” #ogdensburghistory #urbanrenewal

Sources: History of St. Lawrence County (L.H. Everts) Charter, Ordinances and School Act of the City of Ogdensburg, New York. January 1st, 1905 Old Houses of the North Country (Watertown Daily Times) #300 Genealogical and Family History of Northern New York: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3 Dams, Locks and Canals: A Century Before The Seaway (Watertown Daily Times) November 25, 2014 War of 1812 - The Second Revolution By Rainier Chapter Watertown Daily Times January 4, 1922 Bonnie Winter Wright: photo Gilbert Ad: St. Lawrence Gazette June 23, 1829 Official Canvas of SLC: St. Lawrence Gazette November 21, 1826 Dissolution of partnership: St. Lawrence Gazette August 25, 1818 Mason-death of Gilbert: The Daily Journal November 18, 1865 Anti-Jackson Meeting: Northern Light October 25, 1832 Bank of Ogdensburg: St. Lawrence Gazette November 27, 1827 Town of Oswegatchie Supervisor: St. Lawrence Gazette March 11, 1828 Oswegatchie Navigation Co.: St. Lawrence Republican August 18, 1835 War of 1812: The Daily Journal March 1, 1859 Gravestone: William Henry Harrison: St. John’s Episcopal Church: Oswegatchie River:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stone Quarry

This photo is posted courtesy of the Ogdensburg Public Library. It shows the stone quarry opposite the Pythian Home toward the St. Lawrence River. Workers are drawing stone for buildings at the State Hospital. (Frank Bateman Picture Collection 95-12.44)#ogdensburghistory

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Bell Mansion

The Bell Mansion located at 429 State St. (formerly 416 Crescent St.) was built in 1830. The mansard style that you see today was added by Walter Allen in 1880. This style also called the Second Empire Style, was immensely popular in the the Northeast and Midwest during the 1860s and 1870s. It began in France during the reign of Napoleon III and is based on the designs of Francois Mansart. The mansard roof with its usable attic space is the key element of this design. Also note the eaves with brackets and columned porches.

As with many homes built during this period, the kitchen and laundry were located in the basement with the primary living space on the first and second floors.

A number of notable city residents have lived in this home. Walter Bicker Allen, was a prominent businessman in Ogdensburg. He was born in 1824 the son of E. B. Allen and Harriet Seymour Allen at Sault Ste. Marie. His father E.B. Allen was an early resident of Ogdensburg. In 1861 he married Helen Egert; they had three children. Mr. Allen was involved in shipping and owned a hardware store. He served as a city alderman beginning in 1868, and was a trustee of the Presbyterian Church. He died in 1884 and is buried in the Ogdensburg Cemetery.

The Bell Mansion is named after another notable resident, Willard Bell. Dr. Bell married Harriet Allen, daughter of Walter Allen and assumed ownership of the home in 1905. Dr. Bell was a specialist in the treatment of eye, ear, nose and throat ailments, who practiced in Ogdensburg until his death in 1920. He was born in 1857 the son of George and Ellen Howe Bell. His brother Charles was a partner in Bill Bell and Co. Flour Mill. Dr. Bell married Harriet Seymour Allen in 1884. She was born in Ogdensburg in 1863. The couple had two sons, Walter Allen Bell, who owned a lumber business and George Allen Bell who moved to Bangor, Maine. Mrs. Bell died in 1952.

In recent years the Bell Mansion has not only been a private home, but has also housed a bridal shop.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

See Nineteenth Century St. Lawrence County in 3-D on April 20th

Tom French, author of River Views: A History of the 1000 Islands in 3-D, will give a presentation on nineteenth century stereographs, three-dimensional photographs, of St. Lawrence County and the Thousand Islands at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association on Thursday, April 20th at noon, as part of their monthly Brown Bag Lunch Series. Brown Bag Lunches are free and open to the public: bring your own lunch and enjoy a beverage and dessert provided by the SLCHA. The presentation will include a brief history of stereography and many images of St. Lawrence County and the Thousand Islands that do not appear in the book. French will also bring a number of stereoview reproductions and viewers so that the audience can have an opportunity to view the images in 3-D, as they were meant to be seen. After the presentation, he will be available for questions and a book signing. Tom French teaches English in Massena, NY. His work has been featured in Mac|Life, Adirondack Explorer, Adirondack Life, Thousand Island, Stereo World, and The Watertown Daily Times. River Views: A History of the 1000 Islands in 3-D was awarded a Silver Medal for Best Regional Book in the Northeast in the 2012 Independent Publishers Book Awards; the book comes with a special viewer that allows readers to view the 125-year-old photographs of the Thousand Islands in three dimensions. The Brown Bag Lunch Series is a popular lunch time lecture series dedicated to the memory of Patricia Harrington Carson, who founded the series during her 24 years as a Trustee of the St. Lawrence County Historical Association. Pat Carson was active on numerous SLCHA Committees, and was an article writer and an issue editor of the SLCHA’s history journal, The Quarterly.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pilgrim Holiness Church

The Pilgrim Holiness Church was located at 201 Washington Street (corner of Washington and Isabella Streets). The building was demolished in 1972 during urban renewal. #ogdensburghistory #urbanrenewal