Situated on the corner of Main Street and Orchard Lane, the Henry N. Gould House is a red brick, two story, three bay, eve front, c. 1848 Greek Revival style house. Typical of Essex’s flare for transitional houses, this Greek Revival was graced with an ornate wood portico introducing the introduction of trendy new Italianate and Gothic Revival details.
The exact date of construction and builder is uncertain. It was built on land owned by John Gould (owner of the c. 1833 stone Federal Style Stone house located directly across Main Street). Gould leased a lot to Charles M. Gifford in 1848. An 1849 deed transferring adjacent land from John to his son Henry Nichols Gould (b. 1818), references the SW corner of Charles Gifford’s Brick House. Henry married Sara Phebe in 1849 and was listed as having his own residence on the 1855 census. John Gould died in 1860 and willed all of his lands to Henry Gould. An 1861 deed from Henry selling this house states it was where he resided.
Was Gifford the builder and was it a wedding gift from John Gould for Henry and wife Sara?
Many of the portico details remain, but the Gothic Revival railing once encircling its top has been removed for restoration. A similar railing can be found on a street side porch on Beggs Park Lane! Can you find it?
Non local white marble lintels and sills also highlight window openings of the H.N. Gould House. Locally quarried blue-tinted Chazy Limestone provides its foundation and water table, and a monolithic slab of the same material defines the front steps. Notice the limestone rectangle by the sidewalk? It is the top of a carriage stepping stone embedded two feet in the ground. The Ezra Parkhill House just north of here has one above ground facing Beggs Park Lane around the corner.
- Historical Architecture in Essex, New York (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- The Essex Sunburst (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- John Gould House (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Old Brick Store, Main Street, Essex, NY (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)