Archive for June 2014

The McCord Farmhouse in Ossining, NY   Leave a comment

ImageThe McCord Farmhouse is architecturally significant as an intact example of an early 19th century vernacular farmhouse with Federal style influences and as one of the oldest houses in Ossining. It is historically significant as the farmhouse for the McCord Farm, one of the largest farms in the area from the early 1800’s to the early 1900’s and the homestead for the McCord family.

It is located at 98 Narragansett Avenue and built circa 1803, is a Federal style house originally built by Irish immigrant James McCord (1752-1833) and his son David (1781-1836) as the farmhouse for the McCord family farm. The farm was originally over two hundred acres in size and stretched from what is now Route 9A on the northern side down to where the Sing Sing Kill crosses Pine Avenue on the southern side and included the area that today contains Veterans Park within its boundaries. The Ryder family farm (see entry) was located immediately to the east. The farm was in operation from 1750-1937 and was locally known for its extensive apple orchards. A small accessory building was once located near the house and contained a cider press and storage barrels. When it was originally built, the house was considerably smaller than it is today.

A series of additions over the years expanded its size significantly, and the house always contained multiple generations of the family under its roof. Shortly after the house’s completion, two sugar maple trees known as “marriage trees” were placed on each side of the main entrance, a New England tradition. One of these trees still survives today. The farm was still in operation during the first decades of the 20th century when development pressures in the northeastern section of the Village led to the sale and subdivisions of parcels of land within the farm for homebuilding purposes. The house remained in the hands of the family until 1937. At Dale Cemetery (see entry) six generations of the McCord family are buried in a family plot, including both James and David McCord.”
Documented Sources of Information:
1. Norman MacDonald, “Chronicle of a Westchester Farm: The McCord Farm at Ossining, NY, 1750-1937”, Ossining Historical Society, (Ossining, NY: 2008), 33-36.
2. Village of Ossining Significant Sites and Structures Guide See More


Posted June 25, 2014 by ossininghistoryjournal in Uncategorized

The Sing Sing Warden’s House   Leave a comment

Warden's houseThis is the Sing Sing Warden’s House. It was built circa 1930 as the residence of Warden Lewis E. Lawes and his family on land adjacent to the prison. Here he is shown leaving the house on his last day on the job. He arguably was  the prison’s most famous chieftain who championed prison reform in the US. By the time he retired in 1941. Lawes, was well-known throughout the US and abroad having been on the cover of Time magazine, published six books, launched his own magazine, helped write a Broadway play, narrated two weekly true-crime radio shows, and worked on six movies. Apparently he persuaded the New York State legislature that he needed a bigger home to lodge his family and the many elected officials, dignitaries and celebrities who came to visit the prison. It replaced an earlier and much smaller Dutch-Colonial Revival farm house that originally housed the warden and his family. It was recently sold at auction by the State. The newer brick Federal Revival Style home is located just off Spring Street on approximately 10 acres of land sitting atop a cliff overlooking the prison and the Hudson River beyond. This NYS-owned land was transferred to the Village of the late 1970s and in early 1980, the Village in turn sold it to a private corporation that built a condo around it called “Hudson Point

Posted June 25, 2014 by ossininghistoryjournal in Uncategorized