A Brief History of the Graham-Brush House: (Places)
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§8 A Brief History of the Graham-Brush House

"Pine Plains, New York"
Dyan Wapnick


The Graham-Brush House is named for the man credited with building it and its first known occupant, Lewis Graham, a well-connected landowner and politician in colonial New York, and Alfred Brush, a tailor of the middling sort and long-time owner of the property. The house represents over 200 years of nearly continuous occupation, and while changes were made along the way to fit the needs of each owner resulting in a mix of styles, the existing structure taken as a whole can be defined architecturally by pre-1776 and 1900 features.

The Grahams and the Morrises

Lewis Graham’s great grandfather James immigrated from Scotland to New York in 1678, and was a wealthy and a politically active member of the merchant class, serving as Attorney General of the Province of New York. James Graham was the grandson of James the 1st Marquis of Montrose. The “Great Montrose” as the Marquis was known, was a Scottish nobleman who was executed in Scotland in 1650 for his role as a supporter of the King in the English Civil War.

Although he owned land in Ulster County, Staten Island, and New Jersey, James the immigrant settled on Morrisania Manor in Westchester County (part of the South Bronx in New York City today). In 1691 his daughter Isabella married Lewis Morris, the 1st Lord of the Manor of Morrisania and Provincial Governor of New Jersey; their grandson Lewis Morris, the 3rd Lord of the Manor, would become a delegate to the Continental Congress and a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The Morris-Graham link was reinforced when in 1738 another James, the son of Isabella’s brother, Augustine Graham, married his first cousin Arabella Morris, the daughter of Lewis Morris and Isabella Graham. Lewis Graham, b. 1743, was a son of James and Arabella.

The Little Nine Partners Patent

Augustine Graham, Surveyor General of the Province of New York and Lewis Graham’s grandfather, was a proprietor in the Great Partners Patent of 1697 in central Dutchess County, and in 1706 he became a partner in the smaller Little Nine Partners Patent. However he died in 1718 before either patent had been surveyed. Until the land was surveyed, an expensive and time-consuming task, no title could be given, so the only white inhabitants here were squatters; there was a small community of Native Americans on the Little Nine Partners Patent lands until the mid-1700’s. When the survey of the Little Nine finally took place in 1744 and the land was divided into lots, Augustine’s share passed to his son, James, Lewis’ father, and it is James’ name that appears on the deed of partition. Northeast Precinct was formed in 1746, and the Little Nine Partners Patent fell under its jurisdiction. The seat of government was where Pine Plains is today, however the territory comprised all of the present towns of Pine Plains and Milan, and most of the present town of Northeast.

James Graham does not appear to have been interested in settling on any of the patent land he inherited, making his home in Morrisania; a1763 list of freeholders in Morrisania lists him as a yeoman, i.e. a free man owning his own farm. Instead, his lots were developed as income-producing leaseholds. When James died in 1767, Lewis and his siblings inherited their father’s share of the patent. Out of the seven lots that went to James Graham in the deed of partition, adjacent lots No. 48 and No. 29 within the boundaries of the future Town of Pine Plains were chosen by his children for themselves. However, because the land was being leased, they did not take physical possession right away. Only Morris Graham, as chief executor of his father’s estate, settled here at this time, building a stone house on Lot No. 29 (which still stands on Rte. 82 south of Pine Plains; it is privately owned). In 1773, the lots were finally surveyed and subdivided into farms for the James Graham children. Lewis Graham took 259 acres for himself in Lot No. 48, which included the area that became the hamlet of Pine Plains and where the Graham-Brush House now stands.

It is shortly around this time that we see some of James Graham’s sons becoming active in local politics, which tells us they had taken up primary residence here. Morris Graham was Town Clerk of Northeast Precinct from 1772-1773, and Supervisor in 1774. Charles Graham was Town Clerk of Northeast Precinct from 1774-1775.

The American Revolution

The Grahams and Morrises sided with the patriot cause during the American Revolution. Within ten days of the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775, the first military engagements of the Revolutionary War, a protest against the government of England was circulated around New York for signatures. The signers were called “associators”. Lewis and his brothers Charles, Morris, and Augustine were all associators, which could have made them targets of reprisals, although the names of those who refused to sign were also recorded.

Lewis Graham was elected to the first Provincial Congress of the Colony of New York from Westchester County on May 8, 1775, which tells us that, unlike his brothers, he was still living in Westchester County in 1775. He served at the second Provincial Congress (1775), was on a committee to detect conspiracies (1776), served as a Judge of the Court of Admiralty (1778), and held a commission as a Colonel.

In August 1776, the British invaded New York City and lower Westchester County where Morrisania was located. Morrisania became the headquarters of James Delancey’s loyalist marauders and a camp of Tory refugee huts was built there. The Morrises fled to safety in New Jersey, and Lewis Graham moved upstate to his property in Dutchess County. Lewis Graham’s Morrisania home was occupied by the British and later burned, although it is unknown whether this was the work of the British or part of the widespread destruction caused by rebel raiders. At any rate, the area became uninhabitable and was largely abandoned by civilians.

Northeastern Dutchess County would have provided a safe haven, being out of the way of most of the conflict. The area of what would become Pine Plains was in an isolated valley with Stissing Mountain on the west and Winchell Mountain on the east acting as natural barriers, and no major roads or rivers passed through it. Local historian Isaac Huntting, who wrote the definitive history of the Little Nine Partners Patent, relates how a man named Hubbell settled on the north side of Little Stissing Mountain near the spring at the watering trough where the road to Mount Ross is today (“Hubbell Spring”). On more than one occasion Tories from Clinton and from the west side of Stissing Mountain tried to enter Pine Plains through this pass, and Hubbell was involved in several clashes with them and is credited with protecting the frontier.

Like his brothers before him, Lewis Graham became active in the local politics, which is how we know he changed his primary residence around this time. He was supervisor of the Northeast Precinct from 1779 to 1781 and again in 1784.

Lewis Graham Era (ca. 1776 – ca. 1784)

The Graham-Brush House started out as a one-story one-room log building, which today is the western front room portion of the present structure. It is uncertain, however, exactly when and under what circumstances it was built, since there is so little documentation available. Neil Larson, who prepared an archaeological assessment of the Graham-Brush House for the Little Nine Partners Historical Society in 1999, feels that it was built by Lewis Graham sometime around 1776 as a temporary structure, in a military log hut style, to be used as a refuge after he was forced from his home in Morrisania at the start of the American Revolution. Huntting felt that it was built around the time of the 1773 Graham lot surveys, but offers no opinion on the builder’s intentions. A third school of thought is that it was built before 1776 as a permanent structure. We are going to lean towards this third school of thought here.

A log home was typically a cheap alternative to frame and masonry construction, and the less finished or architecturally sophisticated it was the less permanent it was meant to be. A log cabin was a first generation homestead erected quickly for frontier shelter, while a log house was a permanent structure with more amenities. However, it should be pointed out that the term “log cabin” has become somewhat ubiquitous for any style of log home.

Log construction, however, was not the method of choice for the homes of the English colonists in the east. It was more often used for structures that had a specific function, e.g. blockhouses, prisons, and storehouses. These were built to be permanent; constructed out of logs hewn square and notched at the corners for lapped or dovetailed joints, they required considerably more time, skill, work, as well as many more tools than temporary log construction.

The oldest (1728) log structure in Pine Plains at the time of Huntting’s writing in 1897, the Dibble-Booth House, is described by Huntting as, “twenty-four feet by sixty, one story, built of pine logs hewn square,” believed to have been built as an Indian trading post. This is a good documented example of permanent log construction in this vicinity.

Neil Larson describes the original Lewis Graham log structure (Phase I) as follows:

“Measuring nearly square, 18 feet on a side, the building was constructed of pine logs hewn on four sides to the dimensions in the wall of six inches wide and eleven inches high. Corners were made by sawing six-inch square notches halfway into the ends of the logs and lapping the front and rear wall logs over the side wall logs. The sill logs were raised slightly on a stone foundation. They were wider than the wall logs leaving an inside ledge to support the floorboard ends. Pine logs hewn only on their top face were mortised into notches cut into the top of front and rear sill logs at about three-foot intervals to support floorboards. About six feet higher on the wall, hewn beams were similarly installed and floored over. At this initial stage, the log wall would have terminated at or just above the ceiling of the room. Rafters, hewn on four sides, likely the present rafters later raised above this section, would have been notched and pegged or spiked to the wall plates and lap-jointed and pegged together at the ridge as they are in the existing roof. The original roof would have been fabricated with wood shingles. Lewis Graham was operating a saw mill on his property by this time.

The entrance to the original house would have been on the south side of the house where two later windows are framed into a void in the log wall. A nine-foot-long notch is cut in the underside of the log serving as the header of this opening and appears to exist from the initial construction of the house. This indicates that the entrance would have been paired with a window to create the facade of the house. A patch in the east wall identifies where another window was located in the c1776 house. The present door connecting this room to the center passage was later inserted in its place. A similar notch in the header log above the existing door in the rear wall of the room indicates that a door or window was built into the north elevation of the building, but perhaps at a later period. The garret windows in place in the west end of the house would not have existed in the shorter original house and were added in a later phase. The one-room-plan house would have been Spartan in its level of finishes. Log walls where they are visible in the room are whitewashed indicating that they were not plastered originally. The ceiling retains evidence of having been painted as well. The beams and boards were planed somewhat smooth to create a finished appearance, and the beams have been chamfered in a rough fashion. They may have been unpainted originally, which was the norm in eighteenth-century English houses. The fireplace was wider than it is in its current altered condition. A stone hearth would have extended into the room following the dimensions of the wooden patch presently in the floor. Placing the doorway and a window on the southern exposure would have been a practical arrangement for both warming and illuminating the interior of the house. The door would have been constructed simply with board and battens like the door now in the opening to the passage; this door is probably the original exterior door.”

Neil Larson notes that Lewis Graham’s one-room log structure is very similar to temporary military huts described in Revolutionary War records, which Lewis would have been familiar with:

Built without a basement on a trenched foundation, square in plan, seven feet tall, and with its hearth and chimney resting on the ground, the house is consistent with Revolutionary era descriptions. It utilizes the half-lapped corner method favored by the military, and following all accounts, it was built with few tools and metal parts.”

In addition, Larson feels that the military practice of having the kitchen separate from the living area supports his theory that the Graham log structure had an exterior kitchen from its earliest existence.

The following is a description of Revolutionary War-era military log barrack construction from a 1779 journal:

Log houses are constructed with the trunks of trees, cut into various lengths according to the size intended, and are firmly connected by notches cut at their extremities in the manner of dovetailing. The vacancies between the logs are filled in with plaster consisting of mud and clay. The roof is formed of similar pieces of timber, and covered with hewn slabs. The chimney situated at one end of the house is made of similar but smaller timber, and both the inner and outer side are covered with clay plaster, to defend the wood against the fire. The door and windows are formed by sawing away a part of the logs of a proper size, and move on wooden hinges. In this manner have our soldiers, without nails, and almost without tools, except the axe and saw, provided for their officers and for themselves comfortable and convenient quarters, with little or no expense to the public.”

Neil Larson presents convincing physical evidence for the original building having been constructed as a temporary dwelling in the style of military log barracks. Also, Lewis Graham most likely had no intention of staying here a long time; no one knew how long the war would last, and he would have been hopeful of a quick resolution just like everyone else. A bachelor, he just needed a roof over his head and a place from which to operate his saw mill and, like other patentees, engage in land speculation and turning the property he had not yet sold into leaseholds. But it should be noted that if Lewis Graham did indeed build his log hut as temporary habitation, the need to build something quickly for immediate shelter after his harrowing escape from Morrisania was probably not a factor in this decision, as he would have been able to stay at the home of one of his brothers for at least a short time.

Some of the physical features of the original building, however, are indicative of a structure that was built to be permanent. For example, the fireplace in the original room was actually larger during Lewis Graham’s time; also, temporary log huts did not usually have stone or brick chimneys. The logs are hewn, or hand-worked, to form square timbers, whereas temporary structures more often had round logs, sometimes with the bark still attached (Huntting calls Lewis Graham’s log home a “block house”, a reference to its square timbers). Temporary structures typically had wooden door hardware, not iron hardware; the Graham-Brush house has Dutch-style pad hinges. Finally, temporary structures do not usually last over 200 years like the Graham-Brush House has, because they were meant to be temporary, which is why so few authentic 18th century log cabins survive today.

But why would Lewis Graham have built a permanent structure for his home if this was intended to be only a temporary setup for the duration of the war? Maybe he didn’t build it for that purpose, or even build it at all. Is it possible the log building already existed prior to his flight from Morrisania, perhaps as some utilitarian structure, like a storehouse? Although small, it would have suited his needs. If we accept this theory, then the structure pre-dates 1776, and possibly even 1773.

* * *

Sometime after Lewis Graham took up residence on the patent, the house was enlarged. Neil Larson calls this Phase II of the original construction; he does not consider the changes part of an effort to turn the house into a permanent dwelling.

According to Huntting, Lewis married while living in Pine Plains and fathered a daughter Margaret; in 1799 in New York City she would marry Abraham W. Walton, a counselor-at-law (Margaret is listed in some genealogies as the daughter of Lewis’ brother Augustine). It is therefore possible that the addition of a wife and child to his household was the incentive for making these changes, although one-room dwellings have certainly supported larger families on the frontier. Also, perhaps by this time, with the war dragging on and no end in sight, it made sense to expand the living quarters and make the house more comfortable and befitting someone of his social class.

Another log crib was added to the east side of the dwelling, roughly finished like the original, but with the addition of a basement under the new portion, a higher ceiling, and a full half-story. The new crib was separated from the old by a space five feet wide that was enclosed by extending the logs on the front and rear walls to create a center passage and a new entrance.

According to Neil Larson, the façade was dramatically altered as follows:

“…the entrance into the original room was relocated from the south to the east side, taking its present place in the former window position. The space left on the facade was probably filled with two windows as it is now. A similar hole or holes were built into the front wall of the new section of the house as it was being built, and two windows were inserted there to achieve an axial symmetry on the expanded facade. The doorway in the north wall of the old room was probably cut through at this time providing access to the back of the house. At some point, possibly at this phase, a detached or attached kitchen would have likely existed, and the old room would have been the logical point of connection… All these Phase II enlargements and alterations were concealed by weatherboards nailed on the outside of the log walls.”

Larson describes the second story:

Stairs to the second floor were built at the time the passage was constructed. The existing staircase is the result of a late-nineteenth-century alteration… Log walls are exposed on all four sides of the passage… Raising the roof created headroom for living space. Because of the higher ceiling level in the added section, floor levels are uneven. A room was created over the old room where the floor was lower and there was more headroom by erecting the board partition that still exists west of the stairs and laying a board ceiling above the rafter collars. An elegantly shaped horizontal batten on the room side of the partition also serves as a decorative chair rail. In a remarkable display of the economical use of materials and craftsmanship typical in log houses, the ceiling boards are pegged to the collars rather than nailed. The remaining portion of rafters and roofing between the collars and the plate was left exposed. The plank wall, ceiling and roof surfaces, and the exposed logs have been painted and/or whitewashed many times. The original Phase II finish has not been determined. The chimney was extended through the new space, and the small fireplace was constructed to heat the room. These, too, have thick coatings of paint. Two end-wall casement windows were installed at the time the roof was raised and the room created. Surviving boards behind the chimney indicate that the gable end walls above the log were constructed with vertical planks… A second board partition dividing this room is a later alteration, as is the slim doorway cut into the Phase II board wall to provide access into the second room the partition created. In this second phase of construction, the garret above the new section of the house was left unpartitioned and open to the rafters. A board wall was erected to partition off the space over the east room in a later phase. Like the room on the west side of the garret, this room was, still later, bisected by a plaster partition to create two sleeping rooms. It was this area, particularly the northeast room, that was severely damaged by arsonists. There were likely windows on the east end of the house to light the garret space, but the discrepancy in the types that survive on opposite ends suggests that the sash units in the east end are later additions made when rooms were created in the space.”

Lewis’ brother Augustine appears to have been the only one of James Graham’s sons to remain in Pine Plains after the war, most of the others selling out and moving away. The 1790 federal census shows him living in Pine Plains with a household of twelve, six of those being slaves. While all of Augustine’s children were born in Pine Plains, he eventually moved to the home of his sister Arabella in Deerfield, Oneida County (as did his brother Morris some years earlier).

Lewis returned to Westchester County after the war, and the 1790 federal census shows a Lewis Graham, Esquire living in the Town of Westchester with his family and eleven slaves. However, he continued to manage his northern holdings, contributing timber, for example, to build a bridge at Hoffman’s Mills in 1794. He died sometime around 1795-6.

Lewis Graham’s Will

Lewis Graham of Town of West Chester in the county of West Chester. Will 15 October, 1793; proved 19 December, 1800. All to daughter Margaret at 18 or marriage, except to friend Mrs. Margaret Skinner 100$. My faithful Negro Man Slave named George to be manumitted and estate charged with his support if he pecomes (sic) necessitous. Executors: Friends Egbert Benson, John Parkinson, and Thomas Hunt. Witnesses: Samuel Finley, John Burroughs, Peter Bloome. Westchester County Ss 13 December, 1793. Before Peter Bell, Surrogate. Oath of Samuel Finley of town of Westchester Physician. True Copy attest [p.153] Peter Bell. At town of Pelham, same day, proved by Thomas Hunt and Egbert Benson. Proved in Prerogative Court of Canterbury, as will of Lewis Graham, late of Pelham in the county of Westchester in North America, by Erringham Law-renee, Attorney for Egbert Benson and Thomas Hunt, two of the executors, living in New York in North America, John Parkinson, the other executor being first summoned and not appearing. Adderley, 560.

Alfred Brush Era (1829 – 1872)

Neil Larson’s research shows that Lewis Grahams’s “mill and farm” on 257 acres of Lot No. 48 in the Little Nine Partners Patent was conveyed by his estate to the stepson of his brother Augustine, Cornelius Willett Van Ranst. It appears that by 1801 Cornelius had divided the property into three parts. Fifty-four acres, including the land on which the log house stood, were subsequently sold and divided several more times (the land for Evergreen Cemetery being in one of those subdivisions), until 1829 when the log house and one acre were sold to Alfred Brush. It is not known who inhabited the log house during the intervening years; Alfred Brush may have been a renter here for part of that time.

Alfred Brush owned the house from 1829 until his death in 1872. He was born in 1786 in Danbury and came to the area with his family as a child. Alfred was a tailor of the lower end of the “middling scale”. As with most of these types of industries, he probably worked out of his house. His wife was named Sophia, and it doesn’t appear they had any children.

Several events occurred in Pine Plains around this time that would have a significant impact on the economic and political development of the emerging hamlet. In 1802 the Dutchess and Ulster Turnpike (also called Salisbury Turnpike) was laid out from Salisbury, Connecticut, through Pine Plains, to the Susquehanna River in Chenango County, following an ancient Indian trail. While this would help define the center of the hamlet and encourage its growth, because the road that passed by the front of the house was moved in order to become part of the new highway the house was now cut off from all its future activity. In 1823, the Town of Pine Plains was organized from the Town of North East. Finally, construction of the Dutchess and Columbia Railroad was begun in 1868, reaching Pine Plains by 1869.

Alfred Brush was instrumental in the organization of the Pine Plains Baptist Church, hosting a meeting in 1836 for the incorporation of the Baptist Society of Pine Plains, after having been baptized in the Shekomeko Creek at Hammertown the year before along with some of his neighbors. Upon his death, the following memorandum was read in the church:

Bro. Brush had been a very active deacon of the church from its organization. His piety like his mind was of a vigorous and unyielding stamp. He always did his own thinking, laid his own plans, and carried out as far as he could his conscientious and established conviction of duty. He loved the church next to his Saviour and gladly would he have made it a perfect church ‘without spot or wrinkle or any such thing’. For twenty years he had been an invalid, for five of the last nearly helpless. He saw without fear – with gladness even – his end approaching and met it in the vigor of faith and hope, aged eight-six.”

Neil Larson believes that repairs and significant improvements were made under the Brush proprietorship that made the house more habitable and brought it up to nineteenth century standards, finally transforming the log house into a permanent home. It could also be interpreted that some changes were part of an effort to hide the original log features, which may not have been seen as particularly charming or historical as they are today, perhaps even impractical. For example, it’s possible that the house had become drafty, and some of these improvements would have been inexpensive remedies for that.

At this time, the original windows were replaced with six-over-six sash windows. The east room was remade into a parlor: the walls and ceiling were plastered over, the fireplace reduced in size with the insertion of an iron firebox, and a mantle shelf was installed. Wallpaper decorated the walls and carpeting covered the floorboards. In the west room, the walls were plastered but the ceiling was left exposed. The fireplace in this room was also reduced in size, making it no longer able to be used for cooking and lending credence to Larson’s theory that a separate kitchen existed in back of the structure. Alfred also acquired three additional parcels from his neighbors over the years, which brought the total acreage to nearly three.

Isaiah Dibble Era (1890 – 1946)

Upon Alfred Brush’s death in 1872, followed by his wife’s in 1875, his estate held the title to the property until 1881 when it was bought by Phebe Thompson, who then sold it in 1890 to Isaiah Dibble, a dry goods merchant in Pine Plains.

Huntting states that Isaiah Dibble put novelty siding on the house and made other repairs, making the house “as it now appears” (ca. 1900; this is also how it appears from the front today). Since siding was put on during the renovations done by Lewis Graham (evidenced by the existence of older nails used to attach the siding to the logs), Neil Larson surmises that the earlier siding may have come off.

The Dibbles lived in the house longer than any other family; when Isaiah’s granddaughter Gladys Dibble Greene, who grew up in the house, sold it in 1946 after her mother died, the house had been in the family for fifty-six years and they may have occupied it even longer. The lean-to kitchen that was on the back of the house when the historical society bought it probably dated from the time of the Dibbles. Also, significantly, it was during this period that the community, thanks in part to Huntting’s efforts, began to take an interest in preserving the house and it became an unofficial local historic site.

Modern Era (1946 – Present)

The house was purchased in 1946 by George Sanford, a grocery merchant, who owned it for twenty-two years. The Sanfords modernized the lean-to kitchen area and perhaps were the ones to install the first indoor bathroom. They also made an effort to return the interior of the house to its historic appearance, which over the years had been largely covered up. The Shooks bought the house from the Sanfords in 1968 and owned it to 1989. At that time, a local construction company purchased it as an investment. However, this did not work out, and in 1997 the Town of Pine Plains approached the Little Nine Partners Historical Society about buying the property, thereby rescuing it from an uncertain fate. In 1999, the Graham-Brush House was added to the National Register of Historic Places with significance at the statewide level.

The Graham-Brush House currently occupies a 0.4 acre lot. Through grants and the contributions of its members and the public, the historical society was able to begin restoring the house, highlighting its pre-1776 and 1900 features. Some of the work done so far includes replacing the old lean-to on the rear of the building, now serving as the society’s meeting place, installing a new wood shingle roof, and the stabilization and restoration of the fireplace in the west room. During the work on the fireplace, an old shoe was found in the chimney. This was a common form of folk magic, felt to offer the inhabitants protection against witches; it was thought the witch would be lured into the chimney by the shoe acting as bait, where she would be trapped forever since witches could not travel backwards.

No fewer than eight families from different socioeconomic backgrounds over a period of at least 235 years have called this rare log house a home and have left their mark here. Through it all, the house has endured, showing an adaptability and durability to which it undoubtedly owes its survival, even after a devastating fire set by vandals in 1998 which damaged the second floor. The historical society is excited to be part of the life of this remarkable house, and we encourage you to become a part of it as well.

Phase 2 Archaeological Assessment by CITY/SCAPE: Cultural Resource Consultants, 2002

In 2002 City/Scape completed an archaeological investigation of the Graham-Brush House, with a main goal of determining the location of the builder’s workman’s trench, and secondary goals of finding the privy and remains of the original exterior kitchen. None of these goals were realized by this assessment. The conclusion on the absence of a trench was that the shale foundation and original log cabin floor were completed by workmen working within the foundation pit, a find supported by Neil Larson. The remains of the exterior kitchen was initially thought to have been found when a 3 x 5 ft. paved area consistent with flooring was discovered at a depth of 7” behind the lean-to, but it was later determined that its small size and depth were inconsistent with 18th century specifications for a kitchen associated with a military log hut, and further investigation was recommended.

A total of 1255 artifacts were recovered and are consistent with domestic use. The largest class of objects has to do with food service (668), followed by architectural materials. Artifacts uncovered from the yard and house foundation during the investigation were similar and included mostly ceramic and porcelain tableware fragments, bottle glass, kaolin pipe fragments, nails (many hand-wrought), brick, oyster and clam shells, animal bone, coal, slag, plaster, shingle fragments, window glass, and flower pot fragments.

Unfortunately, the soil in the excavation areas had been mixed, causing it to lack stratigraphic integrity and making it impossible to definitively associate any artifacts with a specific owner. Activities that produce such soil disturbance, as noted by the archaeologists are, “kitchen gardening, ornamental gardening, domestic garbage dumping, general traffic, and the multiple improvements to the house and yard, such as the construction of the lean-to kitchen wing and gravel driveway.” We can therefore only say that an item was manufactured during a certain time period, and that it could have been owned and used by the family living there at that time, however, it is possible that any of the earlier artifacts were obtained and discarded by later families.

Most of the artifacts (54%) were mid-19th century. A few items found could be associated with Brush’s occupation as a tailor: a straight pin, a thimble, and a 19th century bottle with part of the word “SEWING” embossed on its label. Interestingly, few late 19th century or 20th century artifacts were found, which surprised the archaeologists. About 10% of the artifacts were mid-late 18th century, and most of the earliest material was recovered near the front door of the original log house.

Among the artifacts that could have been used by the Graham family, are:

white salt-glazed stoneware (1720-1770), delftware (1640-1802), Jackfield ware (1740-1790), Staffordshire type slipwear with brown trails (1675-1770), slip trailed redware with yellow or white trails (1750-1820), agate ware (1740-1775), blue shell edge pearlware (1780-1830) and green shell edge pearlware (1780-1790), creamware (1762-1820), a bone button (1726-1776), and a kaolin pipe stem with a 4/64” bore (1710-1800).”

It is surmised that Lewis Graham brought as many of his possessions as he could with him when he came from Morrisania.

In summary, nothing was found during the assessment that really stood out, and it did not solve any of the mysteries of when and under what circumstances the house was built. Although no new knowledge came out of it, it did support the historical record and what was already known about the site and its inhabitants during its 200-year plus history.


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