Friday, August 5, 2016

Sometimes You Can't Trust a Primary Source

Who would imagine that the Hudson Evening Register in its report about Mrs. William E. Parkman's celebration of her house's 100th anniversary in September 1889 would get the address of the house wrong? But it seems that's exactly what happened. Mrs. Parkman didn't live at 132 Warren Street. She lived at 121 Warren Street, which the Columbia Republican identified in her death notice, on February 11, 1904, as "her late residence."  

Hudson's invaluable Tap Book confirms that on May 31, 1877, when 121 Warren Street (then 53 Warren Street) was hooked up to the city water supply, it was the home of Wm. E. Parkman. 

It appears that the "old Parkman house," built in 1789 and occupied by the same family for more than a century, may survive to this day.

In 1889, the Hudson Evening Register said of the house: "There are not a few houses in Hudson who erection somewhat ante-dates this, but it has the distinction of being the only one known to us occupied by the same family for so long a period. While it has externally been modernized to some extent, within it presents the quaint appearance of 'other days.' It is still in good preservation, showing the excellent workmanship of that day." 

The house today has been "modernized" to a greater extent than it probably was in 1889, and it's unlikely that the interior retains much of the "quaint appearance of 'other days,'" but if indeed this is the house that was built in 1789, and it seems reasonable to think it is, its survival, 227 years later, continues to show "the excellent workmanship of the day."

1 comment:

  1. I have a theory that that house used to be larger, but was altered between 1873 and 1888.