Every week we share a different image on the Essex on Lake Champlain Facebook page and invite our viewers to play some Vintage Essex Trivia. We shared the old postcard above last week and asked these questions: What do you see in this “lake view” in Essex? What do you recognize? Do you see anything that is no longer there—what has changed? Where was the photo taken from? When do you think it was taken?
Here’s what the community already had to say:
Dianne Lansing: I’d say it was taken from in from of “Rosslyn” or “Sunnysides”. I think that is the stack for the horseshoe nail factory but where is the church steeple on above Beggs Pt. park?
Todd Goff: The steeple appears to be near the right side and Very faint. The boat house and house behind it is Murphy’s dock and house (what is now Steve McKenna’s). Tuller’s is behind it. The house to the left of Steve’s and right of the nail factory is long gone. It was in Tullers yard. I’d guess c. 1910ish.
Lee C. Parker: Probably around the turn of the century…industrialization had set in…looks like a saw mill or a plant that generated electricity.
Bill Mock: The picture was taken just north of Essex and I’m Beggs Point that steeple that is the old nail Factory.
Jason McNulty: I know that it’s a cool picture. I’ve often heard about the nail factory, but never seen it before.
Lots of thoughts were shared! The most obvious building in the photo, that many people mentioned, is the old Horse Nail Factory—that factory burnt down in 1918, so this photo predates that! I believe that the steeple faintly visible to the right is from the Baptist Church, which was also destroyed by a fire, albeit much later in 1943.
Although I’ve shared other Essex Horse Nail Company images and artifacts before (i.e. Essex Horse Nail Company in Essex, New York and Essex Horse Nail Company and Wadhams Mills), this perspective was previously unfamiliar to me. And it’s fascinating!
I’m surprised by how incredibly immense the Essex Horse Nail Company’s building complex appears, especially in proportion to the other buildings in the historic photograph. I was unaware that such a large structure stood where Alan Wardle’s Nail Collector’s House, a singular, brass clad cottage, nestles today. (I admit this oversight despite the fact that I’ve often witnessed the old stone foundations that define the tree-shrouded promontory that inspired Steven Holl’s bold architectural.) And I’m intrigued by the treeless shoreline north of Rosslyn (perhaps looking south from the Wilder House lawn?) I’ve collected other historic photos demonstrating that most of the land north and west of Rosslyn were treeless fields (and orchards, so not exactly treeless, I guess), but I find the opportunity to witness views—now altered with trees and construction—ever enticing. And lastly, I’m reminded that their was a small dock house on/near the waterfront now home to Cabins by the Lake. I have other historic images that indicate that this dock house was part of a boat and automobile refueling station, though it’s not 100% clear whether or not that’s the case when this photograph was made. (Source: Rosslyn Redux )
Below you can take also a look at the back side of the postcard, but it was never sent, so not much interesting there or any clues there as to a more specific date.
Do you have any thoughts to share about this old postcard? Please leave a comment below!
Share Your Essex Artifacts
If you want to share your old photos of Essex (also brochures, postcards, menus, tickets, artifacts, etc.) on the blog please email us at editor [AT] essexonlakechamplain [DOT] com.