The House of Five Gables that grew…

by Alden Cole on November 8, 2014 · 2 comments

Original HouseMWPThe farm on the hill with the impressive house of five gables was originally owned by a family named Mason. In 1881, the Masons sold the farm to Clark Remich Cole (1841-1915) my great-grandfather, the year he turned forty. It was quite an accomplishment as CRC had grown up looking at that house. When he had been just three years old in 1844, his family had removed from Alfred, Maine to Dayton, where they lived in the same farmstead in the valley into which I was born exactly one hundred years later. We both experienced living in that valley, with the same views of the land; but different, though equally impressive, farm houses on the hill looming above us. The photo above was probably taken in the mid 1880s after CRC took possession of the property, as the figures sitting around on the ‘lawn’ were most likely the three oldest of his six sons: Warren Foss (1867-1931); Willard Clark (1869-1903); Wallace John (1871-1918). CRC is presumably the one sitting in the horse drawn wagon with his only daughter Helen (1875-1927). At the time, the house had only five gables, with no ell. The original barn behind the house came down in 1903 when replaced by an impressive new barn built by CRC in collaboration with his 3rd son Wallace John Cole. That new barn with the old house of five gables which eventually grew an ell with three more gables for a total of eight, is still standing to this day 111 years later. The house is long gone but its spirit lingers on in these photographs by others long gone. Below the ‘new’ barn and ‘old’ house as seen from various angles.

WinterLightWPWinter Night, Winter Light. This scene of freshly fallen snow, suggestively illuminated by moonlight, provided the spark of inspiration that initiated a new painting, begun this afternoon, 11/7/14.
WinterDayWPThe same scene taken in daylight from a slightly different vantage point, and probably taken a day or two after the fresh snowfall of the earlier picture, as evidenced by snow melt on the barn roof.
MudSeasonWPAnd if winter cometh, can mud season be far behind? Another photo by Gertrude Sherman Cole (1883-1979), one of the early recorders of the Dayton scene using the new Brownie camera that changed how we perceive our world.
BackSideofHouseWPA photo showing the back side of the house, with my father Richard Cole (1910-2009) as a child with his cousin Helen Cole [Hirschy] (1915-2012) in the pram. By this time an ell had been added, thus creating a House of Eight Gables.
Houseof7GablesWPThe following photos, taken from the south and east, look up at the buildings from various angles down in the fields, showing the farm at various times of year.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin November 8, 2014 at 10:15 am

I’m trying to “walk” around these pictures. The house looks white in some and brown in others, was there painting, siding going on? Was the Ell added to accomodate marriages/grandkids? Was there still one kitchen for all?


nancy wysemen November 14, 2014 at 1:51 am

Hi At times I’ve wanted to share my house history with friends. Only happened when helped in moving kinds of activities. Not the same at all. Think this is about something real,close to the heart. Unexpressed. Cozy or safety making. More sharing even than a lovely,current tour with refreshments…..thanks for brunch! My mom,grannie,and I used to troll the surrounding neighborhoods when I was a kid. Hours and miles. Doubt it was for window treatment ideas. All unhappy. Home was where we prepared to leave.


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