“On the shore adjacent to the Ross wharf and the dock house, William D. Ross constructed a cut limestone store and law office.” (Images of America: Essex on Lake Champlain. 87).
The stone W.D. Ross Store was built to serve as a warehouse and store in Essex, NY circa 1810. A clapboard addition was added on the left of the building, which disrupts the original symmetrical Greek Revival design. The addition still exists today, but it has been made smaller and no longer reaches the main roof-line. F.H. Sherman ran a retail business out of the former W.D. Ross Store for many years (Images of America: Essex on Lake Champlain. 87).
The current storefront visible today was added/modified later, and the ground level opening of the building was probably enlarged to make space for that addition (“Essex: An Architectural Guide” 25). However, many features of the original building remain intact.
This building was rescued from demolition and turned into a thrift shop in 1971 (Everest, Allan Seymour. Our North Country Heritage: Architecture Worth Saving in Clinton and Essex Counties. 136). Today is is the home of the Pink Pig, a vintage and antique shop.
“The original freight doors and various-sized windows of the upper floor identify a hardworking and utilitarian building for which style was less important than function Yet the sturdy materials and proportions of the building have a distinct beauty. Inside, the old flooring, sturdy wooden beams, and a manual freight lift to the top storey all remain from its early days.” (“Essex: An Architectural Guide” 25)
About William D. Ross
William D. Ross who built and resided at Rosslyn, the second oldest home on Merchant Row, was a prominent member of the Essex community in his day. His family was extensively involved in commercial endeavors and the industrial advancement of the town. He served as an Essex Town Officer, and lived in Essex until his death in 1844.
Some of his notable accomplishments were: he was extensively engaged in lumbering and mercantile business, and the manufacture of iron; he erected the first grist-mill in Boquet (1810); he owned an ashery in the village of Essex; and owned a distillery just north of Essex (History of Essex, New York).
Additional Resources for W.D. Ross Store
This map (with satellite image overlay) will help you locate the W.D. Ross Store and see how its location relates to other historic buildings in the historic district.
View Flaneur’s Guide to Essex, New York in a larger map
References for W.D. Ross Store
“Essex: An Architectural Guide.” Essex Community Heritage Organization, 1986.
“Essex Village Historic District.” Living Places. Ed. Julia Gombach. The Gombach Group, 2010. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.livingplaces.com/NY/Essex_County/Essex_Town/Essex_Village_Historic_District.html>.
Hislop, David C., Jr. Essex on Lake Champlain. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Pub., 2009. Print. Images of America.
“Historic Essex.” Historic Essex. Essex Community Heritage Organization. Web. 28 Nov. 2012. <http://www.essexny.org/>.
McNulty, George F., and Margaret Scheinin. Essex; the Architectural Heritage. Burlington, VT: Queen City Printers, 1971. Print.
Smith, H. P. History of Essex County: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Syracuse, N. Y.: D. Mason &, 1885. Print.
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