Board and Batten!?! What is this Jargon?!?

This month’s jargon term is, “board and batten” or “board-and-batten,” depending on whether you’re using the term as an adjective or noun; for the record, hyphenate when using the term as an adjective. Every now and then, this type of exterior siding many be called, “barn siding,” because many barns across North America are constructed with this.

The actual definition of “board and batten” from my handy-dandy Guide to Vermont Architecture is this, “Exterior siding of flush wide, vertical planks with narrow wooden strips (battens) covering the joints.”

Historically, board and batten would refer to siding built of wood but given today’s building material options, this siding can be made of plastic, metal, or even fiberglass. Board-and-batten siding can be seen on informal styled architecture, think country homes, churches, and/or barns. During the Victorian era it would have been seen as an architectural feature on Carpenter Gothic homes.

So, board-and-batten siding has an interesting back story. Basically, people built in this style because of a lack of materials plus it helps create a stronger and more energy efficient wall. You’re probably wondering what the hell I’m talking about…

Imagine yourself, a recent arrival to the New World. There’s extensive, old growth forests that you’re not familiar with; England really doesn’t have forests like this anymore. You are also in desperate need of a shelter for yourself and family. Cutting down trees and building a log house would be the easiest and quick; you only have axes and saws and there are no saw mills yet built. The log house is easy to build, for the most part, the issue is that the felled tress do no exactly fit together, so there are gaps that you and your family fill in with moss, leaves, sticks, and mud. It mostly does the job…but there’s still a cold draft during the winter. By the way, you’re not the only family that needs to build a quick home plus there’s also an extreme logging occurring in the New World with lumber being shipped back to Europe. The forests are slowly depleted but houses still need to be built because of the increasing numbers of colonists. Eventually a town is built up around where you and your family settled and a saw mill in constructed. Because of the lack of trees and a new sawmill, newer settlers are building there houses out of planks and strips of wood. Out of one felled log, a lot of planks can be planed, meaning it is most cost effective. The seams between vertical standing planks can easily be covered with narrow wood strips (batten), keeping the cold out during the winter.

For an actual visual of a log home located in Northern New York, check out this link: http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20110108/DCO01/301089932. The article is about an actual log cabin that was reconstructed to represent the home of the first settler in Parishville, Luke Brown and his family. In the photos accompanying the article, you can see the space in between the stacked logs.

Check out the following images to see buildings constructed with board-and-batten siding. There are no spaces in between planks!

Centennial
This patriotic home is one of the many summer cottages located in Thousand Island Park on Wellesley Island in the 1000 Islands Region. The battens are painted red while the boards are white. The home was constructed in 1876. The cottage is an example of Eastlake wood detailing, stick style elements, and I would call it Carpenter Gothic.
The Ol' Station
This is a convenient store located in Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks. This photo was taken way back in 2015 on the way home from a Dave Matthews concert in Saratoga Springs. As of this post, the store might be permanently closed…but hopefully the building is still there and maybe a new tenant is in the building.

Buildings from Upper Canada Village:

Blacksmith and Wheelwright
This is a building seen at Upper Canada Village. The living history museum consists of a number of buildings that have been moved from around Canada to form this village showing what life would have been like in the 1800’s. This building combines board and batten on the upper story with squared log siding on the first floor. There are a number of buildings with this combination of siding at Upper Canada Village.
Union Cheese Shop
This is another building at Upper Canada Village. The cheese shop shows 19th century techniques and uses period equipment to produce cheese that can be purchased at the Village’s store.
Masonic Lodge
This is the Masonic Lodge at Upper Canada Village. It is a 1863 building that was moved to the Village in 2008 from the Village of Kars in south-west Ottawa. The building is constructed on board and batten.

Hallstatt, Austria:

A Building in Hallstatt
This is a building located in Hallstatt, Austria. Hallstatt is located in Upper Austria and is on the western shore of Hallstatter See (lake). The village and surrounding area is a World Heritage Site because of it’s wonderful history and culture. I’m not very sure about the history of the building or it’s current use. I assume it might be an inn along with being someone’s permanent residence.
Another Hallstatt Building
This building is also located in Hallstatt, Austria. It looks like it could be a barn but I have a feeling it might be another house. Hallstatt is part of Salzkammergut, in the eastern Alps. The village has a very rich history spanning all the way back to the Iron Age because of the salt mines. The town suffered from massive fire in 1750 that destroyed most of the wooden buildings. The center of the town is all in Baroque style, while buildings away from the center like this and the other building are wooden with board-and-batten siding.
Batten Door
This is a door I saw while walking around Hallstatt. It is considered a batten door, most likely on the other side of the door are some kind of planks holding the battens in place to be a door.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or have any board-and-batten sided buildings in your neighborhood!

Thanks for reading!

Further Reading and Resources:

1) An article about Board and Batten- a brief history, how it is currently used in architecture, etc. :   http://circaoldhouses.com/circa-school-board-batten/

2) A nice little history lesson on the siding: 

http://www.all-about-siding.com/board-and-batten-history.html

3) Another great article on what board-and-batten siding is:

https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-board-and-batten-177663

4) Like always, my handy dandy resource for architectural jargon is: 

“The Historical Architecture of Vermont: Guide to Vermont Architecture,” Curtis B. Johnson, editor and Elsa Gilbertson, Principal Author, published by: the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, 1996.

St. Patrick’s Day: Historic Ads and Buildings

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d share some finds from local sources on NYS Historic Newspapers related to St. Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick's Day Advertisement
An advertisement cashing in on the holiday to sell dry cleaning. This advertisement was seen in the “Courier Freeman”, Wednesday, March 3, 1915.

The following is a poem that was printed in Ogdensburg’s The Daily Journal on March 17, 1869.

The poem and advertisement were found just by searching, “saint patrick’s day” for St. Lawrence County in the search engine of the NYS Historic Newspapers: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/. If you live in New York State, see if you can find some cool articles or advertisements for the holiday in your area!

On that, you didn’t think you’d get through a post without any buildings, did you?

This wouldn’t be a preservation adventure blog if I didn’t have some photos of architecture to share!

So, last weekend I traveled to Ottawa with my friends, Nate and Logan. While we were in the capital of Canada, we checked out the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica , which is located on Sussex Drive across from the National Art Gallery.

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica
The front facade of the Basilica. The cornerstone was laid in 1841 but the building was officially completed until 1885. During the construction, there were many changes to the plans, most importantly the architectural style was changed from Neoclassical to Neo-Gothic. The steeple of the church are clad in tin, which is a feature seen in French-Canadian churches.

The interior of the Basilica is very ornate and brightly colored. Click through the photographs below for more history and information about the structure.

So outside of the Basilica there was some interesting local architecture on a certain street. Can you guess the name of the street that runs alongside the Basilica?

If you guessed St. Patrick Street- you’re right!

Here are some of the cool buildings located on St. Patrick Street of Ottawa located in the Byward Market District.

Hopefully this inspires you to go check out your local “St. Patrick’s Street.”

Thanks for reading! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Further Information:

Rochon Residence: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=4720

Valada Residence: http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=4729

150 St. Patrick Street: http://galeriejeanclaudebergeron.ca/en/

Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica: https://notredameottawa.com/history

http://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=8448&pid=0

Cupolas!?! What is this Jargon!?!?!

I realized the other day it’s been months since we’ve talked about architectural jargon! So guess what we’re looking at today. Some jargon found frequently in preservation talk.

Today is being brought to us by the word….druuuummmm roooolllllll pleeeessseeee…..

Cupola!

Though, you might have already guessed that though based on this post’s title. 

So anyways, you’re probably wondering what in good Italianate graces is a cupola?

Well here are some official definitions:

A History of American Architecture, Mark Gerlenter, 2001 edition, Pg. 322.

“A small tower-like element, often with a round or polygonal base and a domed roof, which accents the roof of a building.”

“The Historical Architecture of Vermont: Guide to Vermont Architecture,” Curtis B. Johnson, editor and Elsa Gilbertson, Principal Author, published by: the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, 1996, Pg. 25.

“Small decorative structure crowning the roof ridge, and usually used for ventilation.”

This is my definition, combining the above info with some other stuff I found online:

A cupola is a small tower-like structure that can be found on the roof of a building. The word “cupola” is derived from the Italian word cupula, which means small cup. The architectural feature can be round, square, or polygonal in shape. It typically has windows and can help with ventilation, especially in barns. Cupolas may also serve as a belfry (bell tower), a belvedere (a point to look out), or a roof lantern (provides natural light). Sometimes cupolas may be atop of a spire, tower, or another dome.

They are seen as a decorative element in the following architectural styles: Italianate, Octagon, Second Empire, and Greek Revival.

Let’s check out some images I have of cupolas!

Barn in Dummerston, Vermont
This is one of 23 buildings located at the Scott Farm Orchard in Dummerston, Vermont. The lovely ladies in the photo are former classmates when I was at UVM. The Orchard is owned and operated by the Landmark Trust USA, which is an offshoot of the Landmark Trust UK. Scott Farm Orchard was used in the filming of the film, The Cider House Rules. The Landmark Trust has a preservation philosophy of restoring their properties with traditional skills and methods, along with sustaining their buildings as “living history.” That means their properties can be rented for vacations or events; the orchards are open from Labor Day to Thanksgiving. The cupola on this barn can be seen in the center of the barn and is there for ventilation purposes. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Amherst Woman's Club
This fancy looking Victorian house with some Italianate features is located in Amherst, Massachusetts. The home was constructed in 1864 by Leonard Mariner Hills and given in 1922 to the Woman’s Club by Alice Maud Hills. The cupola on this home also has windows and most likely is there to serve as a belvedere, to look out at the surrounding land. The Woman’s Club is located down the street from the Emily Dickinson Museum.
The Emily Dickinson Museum
This is “The Homestead” of the Emily Dickinson Museum. It was built by her grandfather, Samuel Fowler Dickinson, in 1813. It most likely was the first brick building in Amherst, MA and originally the home would have been in the Federal style. The home was sold in the 1830’s to David Mack. Emily, her parents, and siblings still lived at the home though; they eventually moved out. David Mack added Greek Revival architectural features to the home, which would have been in vogue at the time. In 1855, the home was for sale and Edward Dickinson, Emily’s father, jumped at the opportunity to purchase the family home. It was the late 1850’s, that the Dickinson family added the Italianate cupola to the roof, along with a number of other features including a veranda. The museum is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

This next example, is the only one I had in my collection of photos for Northern New York:

The Octagon House
This is the Octagon House located in Brasher Falls, NY. When I was younger, I lived down the street from this house. The home is the only surviving octagon style house in St. Lawrence County. It was constructed between 1855-1857 for Dr. Nathan Buck, who was the first physician in the town; eventually the home was owned by the Stevens Family, who were also early settlers of Brasher Falls. The architectural style was popular for a short time in the 1840’s-1850’s and was promoted by Orson Squire Fowler, who wrote a book on how great octagon shaped houses were. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cupola on the Octagon House
This is just a close-up of the cupola of the Octagon House. It too, is shaped like an octagon.

Here are some more examples from Canada and Saratoga Springs:

Sydenham Public School
The Sydenham Public School is located in Kingston, Ontario. It was originally opened in 1853 as the Kingston County Grammar School. It had two classrooms and could accommodate 100 students on each floor! In 876, the building was damaged by a fire but it was rebuilt and expanded. In the 1890’s it became a primary school and eventually renamed after Lord Sydenham, who was the Governor General of British North America in 1839. The building has Gothic Revival elements and a cupola in the center of it’s roof, which would have probably helped with ventilation. The really awesome thing about this building is that it still is a functioning school. Making it the oldest known structure in Ontario still used as a school!
Kingston, Ontario's City Hall
This is a view of the backside of Kingston, Ontario’s City Hall. It was completed in 1844 and was designed by George Browne. The structure is considered a Neoclassical styled building. When this building was constructed, Kingston was actually the capital of the United Province of Canada, still under British rule. In the photo you can see the dome with a cupola on top of that and to the right there is another cupola. In the summer months the square/courtyard behind the City Hall is used for a farmer’s market and antique market, which can be seen happening here.
Carriage Barn in Saratoga Springs
This is the home and carriage barn located at 198 Nelson Avenue in Saratoga Springs. You can seen that the carriage barn has a cupola with windows, which would allow natural light from above into the barn. It looks like the building might have been remodeled into an apartment on the second floor with a parking garage below.

So those are some examples of cupolas. As you can see they can range in design and look great on a variety of buildings!

If you have any comments, thoughts, or ideas about cupolas or other architectural jargon, let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

For Further Information On Any of the Above Properties:

Wikipedia’s page on cupolas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupola
Scott Farm Orchard: http://scottfarmvermont.com/
http://landmarktrustusa.org/about-us/restoration-philosophy/
Sydesham Public School: http://www.heritagetrust.on.ca/CMSImages/87/87108867-1a3b-4160-878b-a204681c3804.pdf
Kingston, Ontario City Hall: https://www.cityofkingston.ca/explore/culture-history/history/city-hall
Emily Dickinson House and Museum: https://emilydickinsonmuseum.org/homestead
Brasher Falls Octagon House: http://cdm16694.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/slcha/id/235
The National Register Nomination for the home can be found at: https://cris.parks.ny.gov/ under St. Lawrence County and the town of Brasher Falls.
Amherst Woman’s Club: http://amherstwomansclub.org/

A Storefront in Kingston, Ontario

dsc01349

I posted this photo of a storefront on my Instagram account about a week ago. The storefront in located at 168 Princess Street in Kingston, Ontario where my dad lives. Since posting the photos,  I’ve done a little more research into the old Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers, the shop name seen above the doorway.

It seems like the building at 168 Princess Street in Kingston was once the home to Kinnear d’Esterre, a jewelry shop, that closed down in 2004. The jewelry shop was opened in 1906, according to an advertisement from 1969.i

kinnear_1
Advertisement for Kinnear d’Esterre Jewellers found on page 38 in Physics in Canada, the Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Physicists Vol. 25, No. 6 from 1969.

In Kingston’s directories, the shop doesn’t show up in the 1906-1907 Directory but Kinnear d’Esterre shows up in the 1907-1908 Directory.ii It’s very possible the shop opened after the 1906 directory was printed.

The shop originally was located at 100 Princess Street and was opened by J. C. D. D’Esterre (John Charles Duncan), who may have been a colonel in the Canadian Army during World War 1.iii D’Esterre moved to Kingston from Toronto and shortly after moving to Kingston he opened up the jewelry business. The business eventually passed to his son, John Kinnear D’Esterre, who was very well known both in Kingston and the Thousand Island region- the family also was known for boat building and John Kinnear owned a home on Garden Island.iv As already stated the shop closed in 2004 and John Kinnear passed away in 2012.

While researching the business, I found a lot of other current jewelry and appraisal shops in Kingston, seem to have connections to Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers. For example, “Paul-Randolph Jewelers”, which opened in 1976 by W. H. Smith, is currently owned and operated by Brain Smith (son to W. H. Smith) and his son, Jeffrey. Brain Smith worked as an apprentice goldsmith with Kinnear d’Esterre when he was 18! Another shop, “Kimberly Appraisal,” is the business of Florence Kimberly, who worked at Kinnear d’Esterre from 1973 to 2004. When the shop closed, Kimberly decided to continue the “tradition of jewelry appraisal” services in Kingston that she had done while employed at Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers.v

So while the shop of Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers closed a few years ago, its legacy still lives on with other businesses in the Kingston area. The building luckily isn’t being demolished and is going to be the future home of Graham’s Pharmacy, a business local to Kingston, Ontario. The following is their website: http://www.grahamspharmacy.ca/about-us.php and this is a news article about the pharmacy when it first opened : http://www.thewhig.com/2015/06/26/cures-endure-at-museum.

dsc01350
Another view of Kinnear d’Esterre Jewelers. Information on the windows show that this building is going to be the future location of another Graham’s Pharmacy.

Further Reading:

If you have access to Ancestry.com, you can access this page and see a bunch of info on D’Esterre- there are photos! http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=vvQ46&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&uidh=000&rank=1&new=1&msT=1&gsln=D%27esterre&MSAV=1&cp=0&cpxt=0&catBucket=rstp&db=mediaphotopublic&sbo=t&gsbco=Sweden&noredir=true&gss=angs-d&gl=&gst=

From 1962-1963, the Advanced News, a newspaper based in Ogdensburg, N.Y. ran a number of advertisements for shops in Kingston, Ontario including Kinnear D’Esterre Jewelers:

http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn89071106/1962-08-12/ed-1/seq-11.pdf

http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/search/pages/results/?SearchType2=prox5&from_year2=1906&to_year2=2016&county=Saint+Lawrence&ortext=&andtext=&phrasetext=&proxtext=kinnear+d%27esterre&proxdistance=5&dateFilterType=range&date1=01%2F01%2F1906&date2=12%2F31%2F2016&rows=20&searchType=advanced

Footnotes:

i  Physics in Canada, The Bulletin of the Canadian Association of Physicists 25, No. 6 (1969): 38, https://www.cap.ca/onlineforms/temp_PiC_archive/1969-v25-n6.pdf, accessed 12/18.

ii Kingston Directories can be accessed at this website: http://www.digitalkingston.ca/presents-from-the-past/2013/05/15/a-present-from-the-past-city-directories. The 1906-1907 Directory: http://archive.org/stream/kingstoncitydi190607guil#page/n1/mode/2up. The 1907-1908 Directory: Kingston City Directory, July 1907 to July 1908, Leman A. Guild and George Hanson, Publishers (Kingston, Ont., 1907), 51; http://archive.org/stream/kingstoncitydir190708guil#page/50/mode/2up/search/kinnear, accessed 12/18.

iii The following website describes a boat that was owed by D’Esterre and indicates that the gentleman was a colonel in the Canadian Infantry during WW1: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?178039-BROTM-of-June-Peter-Malcolm-Jardine-Congratulations.

iv This is a link to an obituary for John Kinnear D’Esterre, written in 2012. Tori Stafford, “Remembering a Real Gem,” The Whig, February 12, 2012, http://www.thewhig.com/2012/02/12/remembering-a-real-gem, accessed 12/15.

v The following are websites to Paul-Randolph Jewelers and Kimberly Appraisal: http://www.paulrandolph.ca/about.htm and http://www.kimberleyappraisal.com/about.html.

 

Research Preview

It’s 5 am right now and I figured this would be the perfect time to create a post before I go to work for the rest of the day!

The above photo and following image, are just a preview of some of the posts I’m working on about places in Northern New York and in Canada!

The Instagram shot was taken at Upper Canada Village, a living history enactment site dedicated to displaying life as it was in 1860’s Upper Canada. All of its buildings have been moved to their present site from other townships mainly because of the St. Lawrence Seaway Project of the 1950’s that flooded 10 villages along the St. Lawrence River. The history is really interesting and I’m researching a little more before posting about all the coolness that is Upper Canada Village!

The following picture preview, is for a post coming later this week to a preservation-adventure blog near you!

Stay tuned!

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