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. Thanks to Susie Drinkwine for sharing the photo above with us!
Do you recognize the home in this old photo? I don’t recognize that distinctive round awning/porch roof. Perhaps the house has been renovated or something has happened to it? Or maybe I’ve just never noticed it before… Do you know where it’s located? Has it changed since this photo was taken?
What can you tell us about the family listed as the owners? The photo is titled “Residence of Mrs. S. Keyser, Essex, NY.”
Do you know who Mrs. S. Keyser would be? Perhaps it’s the wife of Samuel Keyser? I know of him as the original owner of the yacht Kestrel that once roamed the waters of Lake Champlain.
Here’s the most robust information I can share about that family that I found in an earlier article we’ve shared:
Although Rosslyn boathouse is part of the original W.D. Ross family property, it was not constructed by or for the Ross family. The turn-of-the century building was most likely designed and built for the Keyser family to accommodate their 62 ft. long, steam-powered yacht, Kestrel. Constructed entirely of mahogany, the yacht plied Lake Champlain’s water the 1890’s through the 1930’s, becoming as much an iconic vessel in Essex history as the boathouse has become in the century since it first adorned Merchant Row.
Although the Keysers may have initially kept their yacht on their own waterfront north of Essex, their dock and/or boathouse was rendered unusable by ice or flood damage. Kestrel required local dockage for convenient access and an ample supply of coal to power the steam engine, so the Keyser family purchased a small piece of land on the lake from the Ross family and proceeded to build a dock, boathouse, and coal storage bin for the yacht. The Keyser boathouse has persevered through many floods and ice flows, and today it is once again part of the Rosslyn property. (The Kestrel: An Essex Icon by Morris F. Glen) ~Essex on Lake Champlain
Do you know if it is the same family?
When do you think the photo was taken? Late 1800s – early 1900s? Share your thoughts in the comments 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 Photo: Kestrel at Rosslyn Boathouse (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Postcard: Rosslyn/Essex Waterfront (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Rosslyn Boathouse (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Photo: Civil War Soldier Portrait (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)