Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Family's Houses

My father's family came from a lovely village in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, called Housatonic. There are only a few photos from that time because my grandfather burned all he had in the 1960s.  It was easier to obtain photos of the houses they lived in than of the people. 

This is the house that Lawrence Vosburgh built on the western bank of the Housatonic outside of Vandeusenville.  Vosburgh was the stepfather of my gggreat-grandmother Sarah Livingston.  He was the third husband of her mother Rachel Boyes.  In 1850 as shown on the federal census Sarah and her husband George Winchell lived in this house with Vosburgh and his wife Rachel Boyes.

The next generation of Winchells moved to Housatonic.

This was the house that George's son and my ggreat-grandfather John L. Winchell bought with his wife Winifred O. Ashley on Hart Street in Housatonic.  I am still kicking myself for not arranging for a tour of the house when it was for sale.

This house next door belonged to John and Winifred's son Daniel H. Winchell.  Daniel was married to Alice Augusta Warfield.  They had a daughter Adelsa Roberta.  Daniel died of epilepsy when he was thirty.

Lower down on Kirk Street is the house that George and Sarah's daughter and John's sister Henrietta lived with her husband Uriah Surriner Sr.

Right around the corner from Hart Street on Main Street, Samantha Winchell, sister of John and Henrietta, lived in this house with her husband Isaac Strong.  I'll have to go see if they ever finished painting the house.

The Winchells were all carpenters at one time.  A friend showed me this photo one day and I recognized the last man on the right as my great-grandfather:

This is the only surviving document for the construction of Searles Castle in neighboring Great Barrington.  I suspect other family members were on the crew as well. 

Searles Castle today

If you go to Searles Castle, Estate of the Day, you will see more exterior and interior photos of the estate.  I have never seen photos of the interior of what my great-grandfather helped build until today.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true- it's easier to find pictures of the houses than the people.