Historic Structures

Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Maintenance Shops, Greenville Pennsylvania

Andrew Carnegie established the Pittsburgh, Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Company in 1897 to carry iron ore from Conneaut, Ohio, on Lake Erie to Carnegie Steel Company plants in and around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Forming a link between his plants and the Great Lakes ore boats arriving in Conneaut from Minnesota's Missabe Iron Range, it was part of his plan to form a complete, vertically integrated steel company. The core of the PB&LE was formed by two small lines Carnegie absorbed: the Pittsburgh, Shenango & Lake Erie Railroad, and the Butler & Pittsburgh Railroad. The company was renamed the Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad in 1900. Carnegie Steel had an exclusive 999 year lease to the B&LE. This lease was acquired by United States Steel when that company acquired Carnegie Steel in 1901. The Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad became part of Transtar, Inc., in 1988, and subsequently a part of Great Lakes Transportation, LLC, in 2001. Since 2004, the Bessemer & Lake Erie has been operated as a unit of the Canadian National Railway. Iron ore remains the route's major freight commodity, although coal has always been a convenient backhaul to Conneaut. The Pittsburgh, Shenango & Lake Erie Railroad began construction of the Greenville, Pennsylvania, shops in 1893, but the largest portion of the complex was added in several stages by successor Bessemer & Lake Erie. The last major structure to be added was the Diesel Shop in 1951. Much of the steam-era facilities gradually fell into disuse after the road completely dieselized, but portions continued to house various support functions. The complex was redundant to Canadian National, and it has been largely abandoned in place since shortly after the merger. The turntable still sees service turning diesel locomotives when needed.

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Mountain View House – Grand Resort, Whitefield New Hampshire

The Mountain View House is an excellent and rare representative of a grand resort hotel, a type of hostelry defined by elegance, affluence, and insularity, in a setting with splendid natural scenery. Of all the hotels that operated hi the White Mountains, the Mountain View House is unique hi that for 113 years, it was owned and operated by a single family, four generations of the Dodge family. Though at their heyday at the turn of the twentieth century, there were thirty grand resort hotels throughout the White Mountains, today only five survive. (The Balsams in Dixville Notch, Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, Mountain View House in Whitefield, and Eagle Mountain House and Wentworth Hall in Jackson). The Mountain View House ranks among the finest representatives not only in the region, but in New England. Like most New England examples, it achieved aesthetic impact not through architecturally stunning buildings, but through its immense size and spectacular setting. The hotel offered its guests comfortable accommodations, plentiful and wholesome cuisine, and a wide range of recreational opportunities.

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Southern Pacific Railroad Train Station, Brownsville Texas

The coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad to Brownsville on November 14, 1927, before the station was built, was perhaps the most significant event associated with the site. The Rio Grande Valley had enjoyed a spectacular growth from 1900 to 1930. This growth can be attributed to two factors—the introduction of irrigation in 1898, and the coming of the railroad in 1905. The Missouri Pacific Railroad had entered this area in 1905, and on May 11, 1925, the Interstate Commerce Commission granted permission for the Southern Pacific to acquire the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, which held a charter into the Valley. The completion of the Southern Pacific to its southernmost point in Brownsville was a major event. The driving of the golden spike was scheduled to coincide with the first annual South Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention. The City of Brownsville staged a celebration when November 14 was declared Southern Pacific Day. In an issue of the Brownsville Herald carrying notices dated Nov. 1 (from Ankora, Turkey, on the Mustapha Kamal Pasha; from Belgrade, Jugoslavia, concerning suspension of telegraph and telephone censorship which had been instigated as the result of a Carolist plot; and a possible visit to Brownsville of Ruth Elder, American aviatrix), there appears Mayor A. B. Cole's PROCLAMATION which stated: “On November 14th- and 15th., the City of Brownsville will stage in connection with- the South- Texas Chamber of Commerce Convention a large celebration on the coming of the Southern Pacific Railroad to this city. We expect to have with us thousands of visitors, many of whom will be here for the first time.

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Eagle Mountain House Hotel, Jackson New Hampshire

The Eagle Mountain House is located in the town of Jackson New Hampshire itself a flourishing resort community that spawned a number of hotels and boarding houses. Jackson developed as an artists' community in the 1840s in the wake of North Conway directly to the south. The town's nestled situation in a narrow valley was particularly scenic and the fact that it was nearer by several miles to Mount Washington than any other town in the region gave it an attractive advantage. As in most White Mountain communities artists and tourists were initially housed in farmhouses which operated as seasonal boarding houses. The first hotel in Jackson was the Jackson Falls House erected in 1858. The town's development was given a major boost in the 1850s with the completion of the Glen Railroad station three miles south. From there stages brought visitors to the town. Yet the railroad's distance ensured that the town remain tranquil and removed from much of the commercial development seen farther south. During the 1880s and 1890s Jackson found itself famous and fashionable. It had five large hotels two with casinos, and numerous boarding houses. Most of the hotels and boarding houses were clustered around the Triangle an open space in the village center. From there a trail led to the Eagle Mountain House the farthest removed from the village proper. The Jackson hotels suffered the same eventual demise as others in the region. Today the Eagle Mountain House is the only surviving hotel in the town that has remained in continuous operation. Like all large hotels of the era, the Eagle Mountain House was nearly self-sufficient. Its farm produced vegetables, dairy products and meat for guests. Ice was cut from Gale's Pond and sold throughout the village. A livery on the grounds accommodated horses and carriages, but a bigger attraction was no doubt the hotel garage, complete with attendants and automobile supplies for complete servicing. On-site entertainment was provided by the hotel orchestra which offered concerts and weekly dances. Flower beds and careful landscaping dotted the grounds. Outdoor recreational facilities included a golf course (laid out in 1931), tennis courts croquet courts, shuffleboard court, and fishing and swimming in the, nearby Wildcat River. By 1926 a bathing pool had been constructed. A deer family inhabited the grounds of the hotel, amusing porch loungers and diners. The hotel's major recreational asset, however, was its proximity to the White Mountains. Directly behind the hotel were endless hiking trails. During winter months the hotel was open for special parties, often groups of Appalachian Mountain Club members who snowshoed hiked and had outdoor cookouts and meetings here. The hotel management periodically hired a team of horses to go into Pinkham Notch and break a trail to the AMC huts.

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The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, Dixville Notch New Hampshire

The Balsams is an excellent and rare representative of a grand resort hotel, a type of hostelry defined by elegance, affluence, and insularity, in a setting with splendid natural scenery. Though at their heyday at the turn of the 20th century, there were thirty such hotels throughout the White Mountains, today only five survive. (The Balsams in Dixville Notch, Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, Mountain View House in Whitefield, and Eagle Mountain House and Wentworth Hall in Jackson) The Balsams ranks among the finest representatives not only in the region, but in New England. Like most New England examples, it achieved aesthetic impact not through architecturally stunning buildings, but through its immense size and spectacular setting. The hotel offered its guests comfortable accommodations, plentiful and wholesome cuisine, and a wide range of recreational opportunities. The grand resort hotel phenomenon in the White Mountains began shortly before the Civil War. Prior to that period, hotels in the area were rustic taverns that catered to tradesmen as much as to the few visitors who braved the rugged region. It was not until transportation routes improved, initially roads and steamboats, and later the railroad, that visitors from urban centers throughout New England, as well as New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago, attracted by the splendid scenery, clear mountain air and social conviviality, poured into the region to spend between one and three months of the summer in residence. As tourism grew, the hotel facilities adapted to cater to the growing expectation for conveniences and luxuries familiar to an urban clientele. The first substantial hotels staffed with professional managers were constructed in the 1830s and 1840s; these were the forerunners of the grand hotels which emerged during the 1850s. For the next seventy-five years, the White Mountains were a favored summer spot for the wealthy and middle classes. The peak years were the 1870s through the early 1920s; virtually all of the main hotel at The Balsams and its detached buildings were constructed during that period.

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Graeme Park – Horsham Plantation, Horsham Township Pennsylvania

Graeme Park, originally called Fountain Low, was the one of the improved portions of Lieutenant Governor Sir William Keith's 1,735 acre Pennsylvania plantation. The extant three-story, one-room deep house was conceived of as a malt house—a utilitarian structure where grain would have been processed for later conversion into alcohol—and started in 1722. While the shell was finished the interiors were not completed until after its sale to Dr. Thomas Graeme. In 1739, Graeme, Keith's son-in-law, purchased the plantation and during his tenure converted the malt house into a summer dwelling for his family's seasonal, and later, fulltime use. After his death in 1772, Graeme's daughter Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson—a well-known Philadelphia poet and intellectual—inherited the house and continued to use it as her full-time residence. In 1801, the Penrose family purchased Graeme Park, constructed a new primary dwelling, and left the eighteenth-century mansion house vacant. Because very little documentation exists for the Graeme-era renovations, Graeme Park's history as a dwelling house has been left open to debate. The earliest interpretations, appearing in late-nineteenth and earlytwentieth century Philadelphia histories, assumed that the building was originally constructed as a residence and that the later renovations were merely augmented its as-constructed elegance. In many of these antiquarian sources, Graeme Park was described as a site of colonial grandeur where the Governor lived in a state unknown in Philadelphia and more resembling the manorial regime of some of the wealthier southern plantations and where lavish entertaining was carried on in splendor. Although a few new studies have questioned the extent of lavish entertaining during the Keith era at Graeme Park, most references to the edifice continue to describe it as both an early eighteenth-century house and as the site of distinctive Keithian entertainment.

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Tuckahoe Railroad Station, Tuckahoe New York

Prior to the arrival of the railroads, Westchester County was a series of small independent communities separated by farmland and rural estates. The opening of rail lines connecting the towns and villages of Westchester with New York City was to irrevocably change the character of this county. On April 25, 1831, the New York and Harlem Railroad was incorporated with a planned run between New York City and the town of Harlem in northern Manhattan. Service to White Plains was soon inaugurated. It was the advent of reliable train service between Westchester and New York City that brought about the suburban development of the county. The original railroads were modest single-track lines with small wooden stations. As demand for service increased the rail lines were widened, tracks added, and imposing new stations erected. Most of the stations now in use in Westchester date from the last years of the nineteenth century or the first decades of the twentieth century; all of Westchester's Harlem Line stations south of White Plains date from the early twentieth century. The village of Tuckahoe in the town of Eastchester was one of the first communities to develop along the Harlem line. The village grew as a direct result of the presence of rich beds of Tuckahoe marble. Tuckahoe marble was the building material for some of the most prestigious structures in the New York area prior to the Civil War. Among the notable structures built of Tuckahoe marble are the New York County Courthouse (Tweed Courthouse). Colonnade Row, and the A. T. Stewart Store, all in New York City. Because of the presence of the marble quarries, Tuckahoe grew into a working-class community. This remained true through the late nineteenth century and into the twentieth century as a variety of industries located in the area. This is evident to the northwest of the station where there is a large concrete factory built by a rubber company and more recently used by Revlon (the building is now vacant). In the early twentieth century suburban homes also began to appear in Tuckahoe. The station was erected in the center of town, near what was a small commercial area. There are now more commercial buildings, as well as the former Village Hall, near the station. The Village Hall, built c.1910 immediately across from the station, uses yellow brick of a similar color to that on the station.

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The Rocks Plantation, Eutaw Springs, South Carolina

The Rocks was built by Captain Peter Gaillard, who, seeking to retrieve his fortune lost with the extinction of the indigo trade, bought the land and raised cotton on it. The land, enriched by marl (causing the plantation name) proved to be a bonanza, and only eight years after the purchase he was able to complete his fine house. Fortunately, Gaillard's day book is still in existence, and this gives 1803 as the date of the commencement of building preparations and 1805 as completion. The house is two full stories high; hipped roof; fairly high basement; weatherboarded on all elevations. Nine-light sash is used, as usual, in the windows both upstairs and down. Louvered shutters occur except on the porch, where they are paneled. The posts of the porch are Tuscan columns attenuated to express wood, the material used, instead of stone. They are well designed and, while lacking the graceful naivete of the slender posts of the other early examples, have a pleasantly substantial character. Both the porch and the main cornice are enriched with closely spaced pseudo-modillions and triglyples. The roof is hipped, the planes being pitched at about thirty degrees. Its design is very satisfactory, giving an effect of repose and relating well to the site. The roof is pierced on the side slopes by large square chimney stacks, and the lower courses of the caps are painted white to simulate the almost universal plastered neckings found in this region.

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Scarsdale Railroad Station, Scarsdale New York

The Scarsdale Station of the former New York Central and Hudson River Railroad's Harlem Branch is significant as one of the most beautiful railroad stations in Westchester County. The station was erected in 1902 during the period when southern Westchester County was beginning its largescalc development into a populous suburb of New York City. It was the presence of the railroad lines from New York City's Grand Central Terminal, with stops in such communities as Scarsdale, that brought development to the area. The Scarsdale Station is a neo-Tudor style design and is an early example of the use of this style which came to symbolize the comforts of American suburban life. The station was designed by railroad station specialists Reed & Stem and. although it is a small building, it is one of this architectural firm's finest works. Prior to the arrival of the railroads, Westchester County was a series of small independent communities separated by farmland and rural estates. The opening of rail lines connecting the towns and villages of Westchester with New York City was to irrevocably change the character of this county. on April 25, 1831, the New York and Harlem Railroad was incorporated with a planned run between New York City and the town of Harlem in northern Manhattan. Service to White Plains was soon inaugurated. It was the advent of reliable train service between Westchester and New York City that brought about the suburban development of the county. The original railroads were modest single-track lines with small wooden stations. As demand for service increased the rail lines were widened, tracks added, and imposing new stations erected. Most of the stations now in use in Westchester date from the last years of the nineteenth century or the first decades of the twentieth century; all of Westchester's Harlem Line stations south of White Plains date from the early twentieth century.

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Laurel Valley Sugar Plantation, Thibodaux Louisiana

Laurel Valley was one of many plantations established as the sugar cane culture expanded in Louisiana. Situated on the eastern bank of Bayou Lafourche, about two miles south of Thibodaux, in Lafourche Parish, the plantation came under the cultivation of sugar cane around 1832. Up to this time the lands nearest the bayou had been used as a family farm by petits habitants from Nova Scotia. But with the introduction of sugar cane, Laurel Valley's owners began to buy additional acreage and erect buildings to support the manufacture of sugar. Today there are more than seventy-two structures on the plantation, establishing it as the largest, ninteenth century sugar cane plantation intact in the United States. Etienne de Bore has been called the Savior of Louisiana. In 1794, after insects had destroyed his indigo crop, and falling prices his profits, he decided to risk what funds remained on the manufacture of sugar. He planted seed cane, directed forty slaves in the construction of a mill, irrigated his fields when dry, and hired and experienced sugar maker. He spent $4,000 that year, but in the fall De Bore's cane syrup granulated, enabling him to make a $5,000 profit from sales. The risks of this venture were great, for other attempts had failed. Louisiana planters had been trying to manufacture sugar since 1751, when a group of Jesuits from Santo Domingo had brought a package of seed cane into the French colony at New Orleans. But each time killing frosts or the mistakes of inexperienced laborers frustrated their efforts. In the aftermath of De Bore's experiments, however, many Louisiana planters began to cultivate sugar cane.

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