Samuel Burnham bought an older house on this site, and added to it, creating a larger residence for his family (a common occurrence in early Colonial times). One thing he did keep was a 30-foot well within the building to supply the family drinking water. Interior wells were not common, but very useful on the New England “frontier” where attacks from Native American tribes were more frequent. In the event of an attack in town, a family could close their interior shutters, and wait them out with drinking water from their internal well.
God, I love old New England homes! Could you live in one that is older than the United States?
Thought to be the oldest extant home in Schenectady, New York, the Yates House serves as an excellent example of Dutch-inspired architecture found in the days before the founding of the United States of America. The house, believed to have been constructed around 1730, is an example of Dutch Colonial architecture. Dutch Colonial architecture was clearly common in New Netherland, present-day New York. As a contrast with New England, which featured British-inspired Georgian architecture, the homes and buildings found in the New Netherland colony was unapologetically Dutch. The Yates House in Schenectady’s Stockade neighborhood features a Dutch gable end wall facing the street with interesting brickwork.
William C. Strong, a prominent local citizen who resided nearby, had this stylish commercial block built to serve the expanding population of the village which eventually became known as Waban. After the completion of the Waban Train Station, the demand for neighborhood retail became apparent and William Strong was an early developer to realize this. He hired Lewis Bacon, an architect who resided nearby, to design the commercial block. The result is a stunning Dutch Revival building with gables showcasing stepped parapets. The upper stories were apparently used as apartments when completed. Notwithstanding Strong’s efforts, the Waban commercial district developed rather slowly. It was not until 1924 that the row of one-story shops was added to its right. The addition was designed by Edward B. Stratton, who followed suit with Tudor and Jacobean motifs, to compliment the Dutch Revival block.