Every Monday we share a vintage image on the Essex on Lake Champlain Facebook page and invite our viewers to play some Vintage Essex Trivia. Our thanks to Karen & Rick Dalton for sharing this great photo with us!
We raised several questions when we shared this photo last Monday. Do you recognize this building? Where is it? Is it still there? What’s its history? Anything of note to you in the photo? When do you think it dates to?
Take a look at the conversation that was created over this photo when we originally shared it:
Barbara Dupont: I have never seen this picture before! So interesting. Was this on Beggs point?
Christine Herrmann: The Essex Horse Nail Co on Begg’s Point was gone long before I started coming to Essex in 1947. Interesting to note the piles of what looks like used tires. I wonder how or were they were used in the manufacture of horse nails. Looks like it must be lunch time and someone is fishing!
Lorraine Townsend Faherty: Rolls of steel to cut lengths for nails.
Richard Gorzela: Looks like it burnt down. The “tires” are probably rolls of steel wire.
Christine Herrmann: That makes more sense.
Peter Pierce: What happened to it?
Sarah Bayne: It was on Beggs Point and my uncle remembered watching it burn down when he was a child so that would be 20’s latest.
Lorraine Townsend Faherty: Beggs point. When I was a girl (many years ago) we found nails sometimes
Chris Oliver: I recognized it as Beggs Point, right away.
The Essex Horse Nail Company was located on Beggs Point as many noted above. It manufactured nails for horse shoes (and other products? Does anyone know?) for almost two decades until the factory was destroyed in a fire in 1918.
“Later 19th century industry on Beggs Point included Essex’s only factory building, first occupied by the Essex Manufacturing Company to 1877, then by Lyon and Palmer blind and sash manufactory until 1879, followed by the Essex Horse Nail Company Limited from 1880 to 1918, which in 1885 employed 60 or 70 hands.” (Essex on Lake Champlain by David C. Hislop, pg. 55)
As the factory was only in operation from 1880 to 1918 that dates that photo to some point in or between those years. After the fire the area was barren, and in the 1920s the area was landscaped into Beggs Park which remains public green space today.
Do you have any thoughts to share? Please do so in the comment section below.
Share Your Essex Artifacts
If you want to share your old photos of Essex (or brochures; postcards; menus; tickets; any artifact) on the blog please email us at editor [AT] essexonlakechamplain [DOT] com.
- Vintage Photo: Essex Regatta (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Essex from Lake Champlain (1909) (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Essex Waterfront with Nail Factory (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Essex Waterfront (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)