It’s time for another vintage Essex, NY, image! This time we are sharing an old postcard. The photo on the postcard is titled “View of Essex, Lake Champlain from steamer.” From the title we can surmise that the photo was taken while on a steam ship–perhaps the old steam ferry?
Can you identify the building in the center? That large building was the Horse Nail Factory. It no longer stands in Essex as it was destroyed in a fire in 1918, so this photograph was taken sometime prior to that. Do you notice any other clues that would give us a more precise guess as to the year this was taken?
We shared this phostcard last week on our Facebook page, and it has generated much discussion! See some of the responses here:
Christine Herrmann: I see the Essex Marine Base! Is the large building in the center the former horseshoe nail factory? Or window sash factory?
Peter Cross: I think that is the first picture of the nail factory I’ve seen. Must have been a very large fire.
Robert Hammerslag: ECHO and/or the ECHS did an oral history project back in the 70s. It was headed up by Betsy Tisdale. One of the tapes was a recollection of the fire. I am sure the tapes must be available. I can see the Fire Dept, Ross Store, Community Church and maybe the Noble Clemons House at the upper left.
Todd Goff: Bob, a quick search shows c. 1973 tapes of, “Rev. Stephen F. Bayne of Essex, N.Y. talks about the horseshoe nail factory fire in Essex in 1918.” are in Potsdam Library and Blue Mtn Lake. I will look up at HSX. for them too. Thanks for the heads up. It would be good to digitize them.
Robert Hammerslag: Yes, unless it has already been done, it would be good to digitize those old cassette tapes while it’s still possible. They could be forty years old!
David Hislop: The Essex Heritage Center featuring the Essex Town Historian Office which…has had this audio tape of the Reverend and visuals playing on a feature loop. Stop by to see it and learn more!
The discussion that arose about preserving accounts of this historic Essex fire warms the heart. We’re happy to provoke these protective feelings and inspire action in others to proactively collect and save Essex history and heritage.
Another Essex Postcard
Another postcard was submitting to us by Todd Goff after he saw us share the above postcard. Thank you very much for adding to our digital collection!
His postcard reads, “Steamboat landing of the Lake Champlain Transportation Co., at Essex on Lake Champlain, N.Y.” This postcard shows us an alternate view of the same scene. The photo is looking north up the lake and we can see the side of the Horse Nail Factory in the center of the image along with other facets of this section of the Essex waterfront at this time.
Can you tell us anything more about these scenes? Share your knowledge and insights below in the comments!
We hope you’re enjoying these vintage images! Keep your eyes on the Essex on Lake Champlain blog for more. And if you have some vintage or unique Essex artifact or photograph we would love to see it and share it on the blog! Contact us if you have questions about how to submit it to us.
- Spring Flowers 2013 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Stereoview: Northern Essex Bay (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Vintage Stereoview: View of Essex from North (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- 1958 Vintage Ferry Brochure (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)