Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Digging Nears It's End....

More china shards and marbles, another chandelier crystal, a plastic rooster, a button, and a couple of wooden spools.And another bottle (unmarked).
Not shown: a disgusting dirty pink blanket, a red plastic mallet, and the business end of a rake.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Straight from the soil of Red Hook

Sunday was another digging sort of day.
A piece of glass that says "prune syrup", a thimble, half a clay pipe, pottery shard, more marbles, and another glass vial:The best find was this small bottle from a pharmacy owned by Otto C B Cromm. The address is 365 Van Brunt which is the same as one of favorite restaurants in the area called Fort Defiance.
I ran it over to show the owner and he says he's heard that Cromm was a bit of a surly German man fond of scaring the neighborhood children. He also told me that the pharmacy was supposed to have beautiful cabinets lining the walls, and that they were the only place in Red Hook for many years with a telephone, --so it was a big destination for anyone needing to make a call.
This other bottle was found in a pile of dirt on the neighbor's lot after the house was knocked down. It's from McDonough and Co in Jersey City, at Henderson and First Street...but no idea what might have been in it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The state of things

From the vantage point of the neighbor's yard, now free and clear of house and debris:That's the original wood cedar siding...which we may or may not be able to keep. The brick is being repaired and repointed--and that's a layer of concrete or other waterproof stuff that will go to ground level (the soil will go about up to where the top of my head is....and hopefully I won't be standing there at the same time).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

1940 Census

According to the Census (which is available online at
the owner of the house in 1940 was Jennie...maybe Svenson? (the handwriting on the paperwork is awful) who was 50 yrs old. She lived here with her son William who was 23 and a packer at a glass factory earning $960/year. The value of the house was $4000!
What is interesting is that there were many other people living here as well:

The D'Amato family paying $18/month rent:
Anthony (father) 41 yrs old, Longshoreman at the NY Docks
Julia (mother) 39 yrs old
Rose (daughter) 18 yrs old, listed as a "new worker"
Ralph (son) 16 yrs old
and Joseph Ruggerio (their nephew) 21 yrs old, auto mechanic

And THEN, there was the Mund family, paying $24/month:
Edward (father) 63 yrs old
Elizabeth (mother) 58 yrs old
John (son) 23 yrs old, clerk
Anna (daughter) 19 yrs old, also a "new worker"

So that means a total of eleven people lived in this house in the year of 1940...ALL AT THE SAME TIME. It makes us wonder if the shack that used to be in back was actually it's own residence...and if there was possibly a causeway between lots in the rear to allow for egress other than going through the house. Even taking tenement living into account, it's still hard to think of so many people squeezed in to this place together.

I'm supposing that the woman in the photo of the house with the Jack Russell terrier is either Jennie Svenson or Elizabeth Mund...but it's impossible to tell.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Going, going, gone...

just like that.
Poor house.

I took these photos from over our yard fence...but it's still tough to see the real state of the siding.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012