If you’re wondering what’s up with historyonthefox’s front page photo, here’s the deal: It’s a photo of my neighborhood taken about 1890 or so by Irvin Haines. Irvy was an amateur photographer and a local contractor. In fact, he built the house I live in now for my great-grandparents when they retired from farming in 1908.
But back to the photo. I have a feeling Irvy climbed up onto the roof of one of Esch Brothers & Rabe’s giant ice houses to take this shot, looking south along what is today North Adams Street towards Oswego, which you can see on the horizon. If you magnify the photo–which you can’t do with the low res version here–you will see that the tiny little protrusion above the horizon ro the right of North Adams is the steeple of the Church of the Good Shepherd.
My house hadn’t been built yet, of course, when Irvy shot his photo. But the building at the far left with the light-colored roof is my barn, which was a house when the picture was snapped. My great-grandparents had the house moved to the south and then built their house on the lot.
The ramshackle building at right is the old Parker sawmill and furniture factory. The sawmill, built about 1845 by Nathaniel Rising, is the part of the building parallel to the river. The furniture factory is the wing at right angles to the mill.
Finally, if you look closely, you’ll see the Partridge Butter Factory in the distrance on the left.
The whole area was originally called the Village of Troy, which was platted by Rising in 1845. North Adams was then known as Water Street, and Troy was platted with a whole bunch of blocks and streets named First, Second, Main, and Third. It was absorbed by Oswego in the 1990s.
It’s not much, but it’s my neighborhood…