The 19th century cast iron fence at 32 Warren St. was seriously damaged a couple of months ago by an errant car. Fortunately good insurance and a diligent search for a company that could build a replica of the iron fence has produced results. The new sections of the fence contained a combination of steel, cast iron, and water-jet cut steel trim at the bottom. Welding the steel to the iron fence is not as easy as just cranking up your garage welder. Nevertheless, the craftsmen who performed the work made it look very easy.
A few months back I was in the Spotty Dog cruising the books. I stumbled on a large format book with a great title: Looking for Work: Industrial Archeology in Columbia County, New York – the emergence and growth of local industry as revealed in surviving sites and structures1 by Peter H. Stott.2 This 358 page book is a heavy duty monograph replete with endless notes about sources and a practical guide to the existing sites one might visit. There are lots of maps, illustrations, and photographs.
124 Warren St. - Ezra Waterbury House
One little gem of a note concerns 124 Warren, the Ezra Waterbury House, built in 1870, just a few steps up the street from us. This is the only cast-iron front residential building still standing in North America.
A telling note about the difficulty of getting monographs like this one published is that the original research here in Columbia County and in Albany in the State Archives and elsewhere took place over 18 months. The writing of the book was completed shortly afterwards in 1994, but the book was not actually published until 2007.
2007 Columbia County Historical Society, Kinderhook, NY [↩]
Besides the attraction of the topic, Peter is a classmate from my prep school days, class of 1965, at Taft School in Watertown, CT [↩]