Main Street Historic District
The Main Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination documentation. [†] Adaptation copyright © The Gombach Group.
The Main Street Historic District is a largely residential area at the southern end of the hamlet of Stone Ridge, Ulster County, New York. The hamlet, located in eastern Ulster County, is at the geographic center of the town of Marbletown and lies atop a limestone rise between the Rondout and Esopus watersheds. The creeks on either side of the ridge flow northeast, emptying into the Hudson River 10 miles away at Kingston, the county seat. Route 209, of which Main Street is a part, follows this ridge defined by the creeks. Surrounding the area are the Shawangunk Mountains to the east and the Catskills to the west, both protected from development by a private preserve and state park respectively. The area is rich in historic resources: The National Historic Landmark hamlet of Hurley lies seven miles north; the Rest Plaus Rural Historic District is two miles south and a number of potential rural districts are nearby.
The Main Street Historic District, encompassing about one-half of the hamlet of Stone Ridge, was identified after an extensive survey of the hamlet. The boundary was derived using the rear lot lines of the properties on either side of Main Street extending from the Hasbrouck House at the south end, to the Napolitano House at the north end. When approaching the Main Street Historic District from the south, the wooded setting of the first houses encountered begins a natural transition from the countryside to the hamlet — open, undeveloped farmland gives way to a tree enclosed populated street. The north boundary of the Main Street Historic District was drawn to exclude the modern commercial area of the town, which encompasses a different aspect of the hamlet's development and contains newer non-compatible buildings and structures. The Main Street Historic District, of approximately 70 acres, incorporates the strip of properties which front on either side of Main Street, extending just to the north of Cooper Street (Route 213). The Main Street Historic District contains 92 contributing features on 38 properties: 36 contributing primary buildings and 50 contributing outbuildings, 5 contributing structures and 1 contributing site. There are 5 non-contributing primary buildings.
The Main Street Historic District has evolved about a core group of eighteenth and early nineteenth century stone houses on either side of Main Street that composed the early community of Stone Ridge. Mixed in among these early dwellings are a number of nineteenth and early twentieth century commercial buildings and frame homes. The growth of the village through this period generally followed a linear pattern. Secondary development of principal buildings off Main Street on side roads did not occur here. Recently, there has been an exception to this pattern with the creation of Albright Lane, an unpaved road, behind Barrett's Outbuildings were historically the only buildings placed behind Main Street. The reason, in part, for this single tier development is the drop on either side of the ridge to wetlands below, leaving a relatively narrow and flat developable space along the thoroughfare with open space behind. Together, these properties in the Main Street Historic District present a quiet, undisturbed village-like streetscape that has changed little since the early twentieth century. New construction in the Main Street Historic District over the past 50 years has been limited to the non-contributing town hall and the associated garage facilities behind it at the south end of the district. Most of the properties in the Main Street Historic District have modest setbacks with frontages of 80 to 150 feet and are situated on small lots ranging in size from about one-quarter to one acre. Properties extend back giving the impression of a small lot. Numerous street trees and extensive landscaping enhance and reinforce the rural atmosphere of the community.
A rapid transition into the hamlet is encountered upon entering the district from the south. The southern end is predominantly residential and one immediately notices the eighteenth century stone Hasbrouck House on the east followed by the Cantine Homestead across the street. Proceeding north through town one next encounters the Goodman House and the Jones House, a pair of small Craftsman homes across from the Town Hall at the start of what may be the post office and the Dutch Reformed Church are located. Moving north through a more eclectic variety of nineteenth and early twentieth century residences, one rounds a gentle bend and enters an area of earlier, more embellished houses such as the stone Federal style Tack Tavern, the Wynkoop-Lounsbery House and the frame Greek Revival style Maple Lawn. From this point the commercial area of the Main Street Historic District begins.
The traditional commercial center of the hamlet is the intersection of Cooper Street (Route 213) and Main Street. There are three early nineteenth century buildings that have survived: DD's Drug Store, a brick, front gabled, Greek Revival building; The Globe Cafe, a two-story, front-gabled, frame store; and the Chancellor Building, a two-story, flat roofed store. These buildings all face Main Street and have survived relatively intact as traditional examples of the mid-nineteenth century retail establishment. A number of shops and businesses operating from converted residences, such as Barrett's Salon, the library, and Nutcracker Antiques, have radiated from this hub. The Main Street Historic District concludes at the north end with a diverse group of homes such as the vernacular Greek Revival Ostrander House, the Victorian period Steenberg House, and the Craftsman style Napolitano House before the emerging twentieth-century hub that has developed around the intersection of Leggett Road is encountered.
The buildings in the Main Street Historic District may be divided into three distinct types and periods. The first phase is represented by a core group of eighteenth-century stone houses. Constructed in the vernacular stone building tradition of the post-Revolutionary period, these early farmstead dwellings display a wide range of variation. Three, four, five, and six bay examples are represented, as are gable and gambrel roof specimens of one and one-half and two stories. The random-mortared fieldstone construction of these resources serves as a visual counterpoint to the later frame dwellings of the district. The second category of buildings encompasses the nineteenth-century commercial and frame residential architecture of Greek Revival flavor. These resources, built during the 1830's, 40's, and 50's, were constructed in the regional vernacular tradition and display the popular Greek Revival style in detail and ornamentation rather than in form. The range of variation in these resources primarily reflects socioeconomic conditions. The building list includes examples of plain one and one-half story residences with minor detailing, as well as extravagant two-story, five-bay buildings with Ionic columns, bold entablatures, and extensive ornamentation. Although there are singular examples of vernacular Italianate, Victorian era, and Colonial Revival residences in the Main Street Historic District, the second half of the nineteenth century did not witness extensive development in Stone Ridge. The third dominant building type evident along main street emerged during the early twentieth century, when a local boom fostered the building of numerous Craftsman style dwellings. The ubiquitous Bungalow is represented by four intact examples that epitomize the type, while a number of other residences display the range of variation typical of the Craftsman tradition.
The stone houses, although outnumbered by the accompanying frame buildings, impose a dominant character on the Main Street Historic District. In total there are seven stone houses dispersed along Main Street including examples which anchor each end of the Main Street Historic District. Of these, the Napolitano House (ca.1700's), with a low elongated eaves wall, is what might be considered a traditional early Hudson Valley one and one-half story house, although it has been extensively remodeled in the Craftsman style. The remainder of the stone houses are more elaborate two-story dwellings with embellishments such as porches on the Hasbrouck House (ca.1790) and a doorway on the Tack Tavern (ca.1750). The Wynkoop-Lounabery House (ca.1750) has a Dutch gambrel roof. Both this house and the Hasbrouck House are elaborate expansions built onto earlier and more familiar one and one-half story buildings that were sited perpendicular to the main road. The early building of the Hasbrouck House has been lost to later additions, but the original portion of the Wynkoop-Lounsbery House remains, hidden behind what is now the principal building. The Tack Tavern and Edward Lounsbery House, now the library (ca.1770) are a pair of two-story, stone, side-gabled houses that are strikingly similar mirror images of each other.
Amongst the stone houses are numerous frame Federal and Greek Revival style homes which all date from the mid-nineteenth century, most from the 1840's. Some of the homes, such as the Dr. D. Hasbrouck House (1841) and the Piper Residence (ca.1840), are fashionable buildings. Others, such as the Graham Residence (ca.1840) and the Silverman House (ca.1840), though not devoid of detail, are more utilitarian housing examples that strongly reflect the Greek Revival style. The notable exception to this is the brick built Dr. Levi Lounsbery House (ca.1840) which is a remarkable two-story Greek Revival dwelling.
The only church in the Main Street Historic District is the 1851 Greek Revival Dutch Reform Church. The building is notable for the pair of colossal Ionic columns on the front portico and the full height triple-hung sash windows that flank them. The only change to the front of the church is the addition of a pointed steeple in 1967 which replaced an open gallery that blew off in a 1938 hurricane. The pews within are made of black walnut. Across the street is the parsonage (ca.1898) which shares a well with the Roosa House (ca.1830) just to the north. The dug well which sits on the property line has a unique two-sided well-house for access by each household.
A final grouping of houses built in the early twentieth century reflect the influences of the Craftsman style. Four of these homes are one-story, side-gabled cottages with full length front porches. Although the buildings are very simple in their construction, the use of shingles and minor decoration about the porches, dormers, and eaves contributes to their overall effect. An outstanding pair of these homes is found at the south end of the district. The Arnold Jones Residence and the John Goodman Residence are matching adjacent homes built in 1925, each with a central dormer and small flanking garage. The houses are decorated with a simple staggered shingle on the second floor level and a pierced porch balustrade with paired pillars.
The Stone Ridge Main Street Historic District retains a high level of integrity. Of the building stock there is only one property, the Town Hall (1936) that postdates the 1750-1930 period of significance. The majority of the additions, alterations, and embellishments to the existing buildings were completed within the 1750-1930 period and do not detract from the significance of the district. The setting, layout, and landscape of the Stone Ridge Main Street Historic District is intact in the Main Street thoroughfare and surrounding elements, preserving a visually cohesive sense of the historic hamlet.
The Main Street Historic District, located in the southern portion of the hamlet of Stone Ridge, Ulster County, New York, is historically and architecturally significant for its representation of rural hamlet development from the eighteenth through the early twentieth century in one of New York State's earliest settlement areas. Main Street, the principal axis of the community, follows the same track that has led through the town for the past three hundred years. Originally an Indian trail, this road grew into an important transportation link for the Dutch and English and was the major focus of development in the area throughout the 1750 to 1930 period of significance. The Main Street Historic District, with thirty-six primary contributing buildings located along either side of Main Street, spans three important eras of development including the early Dutch settlement of the area in the eighteenth century, the agricultural and commercial prosperity of the nineteenth century, and the prosperity through tourism of the early twentieth century. The first settlers of Stone Ridge were farmers. In the mid-eighteenth century they built their homes and supporting farm buildings along the rural thoroughfare. Agricultural prosperity led to the construction of new residences and substantial additions to existing buildings throughout the second half of the eighteenth century. Together, these buildings document the architectural evolution of the stone houses in the Hudson Valley from low one-and-one-half story settlement period dwellings to large imposing residences. Later generations shifted their attention to a service oriented economy. In the nineteenth century they created a central commercial district that prospered from the robust agricultural conditions and increased traffic on Main Street. The nineteenth century residential and commercial buildings, mostly of a vernacular nature and representing local architectural styles, illustrate the slow acceptance by the rural community of the styles that swept the new nation during this era. Cultural institutions gravitated here, as well. The Stone Ridge Church, built in 1851, recalls the role that religion played as an integrating and socializing force in the nineteenth century community. Few churches of this age have been preserved in the area. Twentieth-century Craftsman style homes interspersed in the Main Street Historic District recall the impact of tourism on the continued growth of the village during the early decades of the present century. The Main Street Historic District as a whole is a remarkable cohesive unit that embodies the local development of the village — from Dutch stone house to Craftsman Bungalow style — in its architecture.
The town of Marbletown was one of the first settlements to be established in Ulster County after the English took control of the region from the Dutch in 1664. At the time there were only two Dutch settlements — Kingston and Hurley — in the county. These Dutch villages, both near the Hudson River, were located on the Rondout and Esopus Creeks, respectively. In 1669 a group of twenty-four discharged English soldiers from the garrison at Kingston received land grants upstream from Hurley on Esopus Creek and settled Marbletown. The creation of this community represented the first movement of settlers into the interior hinterlands of Ulster county, beginning a process of expansion and settlement in the county that would characterize the area's history for the next 150 years. During this period the expansion of the community at Marbletown led to the creation of Stone Ridge, an ancillary settlement situated two miles to the north.
Marbletown and Stone Ridge are located at the top of a limestone ridge that defines the axis of the historic community. One of the principal reasons for the area's settlement and development was its placement along the primary inland route of the Old Mine Road, later called the King's Highway. Main Street, which follows Route 209, is one part of the former Kings Highway, one of the oldest transportation routes in the country. The road today follows the route of what was an Indian trail before the European settlers arrived. It extended from the Minisink area of the Delaware River to Kingston, situated on the Hudson River, and from there it followed the river north eventually leading to Canada. By following the various creeks and kills along the way, the route offered a relatively flat and even terrain conducive to travel and settlement.
The early settlers were the first to improve the original trail and named it the Old Mine Road, reflecting their search for precious metals in what was then the unexplored interior. Some copper, lead and iron were found, but the search for gold and silver was eventually abandoned; the road instead became an important trade and commercial route. Upon taking control of the Hudson Valley from the Dutch, the English briefly renamed the road the Queens Highway, in Honor of Queen Anne, and, later, the Kings Highway. This route today, now called Route 209, remains a principal thoroughfare through central Ulster County.
By 1703 the town of Marbletown had a population of 228 and was the third largest settlement in the county. Although the original settlers were English soldiers, the town, like the rest of the county, was primarily populated by settlers of Dutch-German-Huguenot extraction. Hinshalwood estimates that the ethnic composition of the town around 1720 was over sixty percent Dutch-German-Huguenot, sixteen percent English, and eighteen percent black (slaves). It was not until the 1740's and 1750's that English immigration into the county began to increase, and not until after the Revolution that this influx began to overwhelm the historically Dutch area. A census for the county indicates that the percentage of Dutch-German-Huguenots in the population had dropped to thirty-three percent by 1790. Nevertheless, the northern settlements such as Kingston (57.7%), Hurley (51.8%), and Marbletown (46.9%), tended to maintain higher percentages of Dutch.
The eighteenth century hamlet of Stone Ridge, originally known as Stony Ridge, consisted of a small group of stone houses on either side of the Kings Highway. Fields spread out behind the dwellings to the east and west. Farming was the principal source of livelihood. During the colonial period, Ulster County was an important wheat, barley and butter exporter to Europe. The Kings Highway was the principal arterial to the Hudson and thus was vitally important to the area's commercial and economic growth. Agriculture was the key economic factor in the early development and prominence of the area. The low-lying creek basins and flats of the Rondout and the Esopus offered fertile and easily tillable soil that the settlers were able to exploit. Early references were made by Governor Lovelace to the area that he called the Butterfield, which was near "Ye Call Bergh" and ran behind Stone Ridge south towards High Falls. As the area was remarkably fertile and untimbered, he proposed "to improve (it) for a feeding ground."
Many of the early settlers of Stone Ridge were from established families of Ulster County. Four families of Wynkoops and a number of families of Hasbroucks resided in Kingston, and the names of Cantine and Tack appear on seventeenth-century freeholder lists as well. Members of these families were among the first to establish farms along the King's Highway north of Marbletown and to erect the stone houses that became the nucleus of Stone Ridge. Tack Tavern was erected during the middle of the eighteenth century to serve the small community and the increasing traffic on the primary thoroughfare to Kingston. In 1777 the tavern was briefly the site of the Ulster County Court after the British and burned Kingston. During the Revolution, Stone Ridge played host to Washington and his troops. General George Washington, while on his way to Kingston, stayed the night of November 15, 1782 as the guest of Major Wynkoop in the Wynkoop-Lounsbery house. Washington's troops stayed at the Tack Tavern. During the post-Revolutionary period the agricultural growth of the area permitted families such as the Hasbroucks and Wynkoops to construct massive and formal two-story additions to their early settlement period dwellings, ushering in the nineteenth century in Stone Ridge with a feeling of prosperity and Federal optimism.
The eighteenth century resources of the Main Street Historic District in Stone Ridge, Ulster County are a significant component of the Dutch colonial settlement landscape in the Hudson Valley. The study of the North American settlement landscape as a material-culture reflection of the Colonial past is an established historical pursuit. Scholars such as Meinig, Kniffen, and Glassie have identified settlement period culture hearths that correspond to geographically defined core areas of early occupation. These settlement cores were centralized zones where relatively isolated cultures expressed their essential characteristics in unique ways. The record of this process is preserved in the place names, land division patterns, architecture and other aspects of the settlement landscape. In many cases these culture cores later became source areas from which distinctive characteristics spread across broad areas of the North American interior. The architectural resources of these core areas are significant as tangible symbols of the unique settlement process that characterized European colonization of North America.
The earliest independent cultural hearths were established by European colonization along the eastern seaboard. Examples include southern New England, the northern hearth of early English settlement; the Hudson and Raritan Valleys, a center of early Dutch culture; the Delaware Valley, settled by an ethnic amalgam of Northern European and Scandinavian groups; and the Chesapeake Bay, an area in which English culture expressed itself in somewhat different ways than in New England. Of these settlement period areas, the Dutch Hudson Valley hearth is the only one that had its fundamental origins in New York State.
The Dutch colonial settlement area includes the Hudson Valley from Albany south, the western end of Long Island, and portions of northern New Jersey, particularly along the Raritan River. Unlike other source areas, Dutch influences and styles rarely occur beyond this restricted range because of the overpowering influences of English immigration into the region during the last quarter of the eighteenth century. As a result, the architectural features that embody the Dutch colonial hearth represent a restricted and limited number of resources that exist primarily in a small portion of eastern New York State. This portion of the state has been an area of intensive development and modernization for decades and the processes of growth have had a negative impact on the number and quality of the region's historic resources. Dutch colonial architecture in the area is worthy of preservation because of its relative rarity and historical significance.
The Main Street Historic District in Stone Ridge, Ulster County retains a set of seven eighteenth century Dutch colonial stone houses. This includes the Hasbrouck House, Gray Residence, Tack Tavern, Wynkoop-Lounsbery Residence, Library-South, Edward Lounsbery residence, and the Napolitano Residence. A number of these, including the Napolitano residence and the Library-South, are representative of early settlement period Ulster stone houses. With their one-and-one-half story stone construction, rectangular plan, end chimneys and gable roof, these dwellings are typical of a Dutch building type that was primarily restricted to Ulster County. They compare with similar National Register listed examples in the county such as the Thomas Jansen House (c.1727; c.1790), the William Decker House (c.1730; c.1776), and the Trumpbour Homestead (c.1760). While a few scattered examples from surrounding areas are known, such as the National Register listed Peter Houghtaling farm in nearby Greene County, this form represents a concentrated building type in Ulster County that is uncommon elsewhere. Despite later alterations, the Napolitano Residence and the Library-South retain characteristics of this early Ulster County building type. The Hasbrouck House and Wynkoop-Lounsbery residence are late eighteenth century dwellings that incorporate early settlement period wings of this type as well.
The remaining eighteenth century stone houses — the Hasbrouck House, Tack Tavern, Gray, Wynkoop-Lounsbery, and Edward Lounsbery residences — are all examples of a later, post-Revolutionary building type. The representative characteristics of this type are massive, two-story stone construction, rectangular form, balanced facade, end chimneys, gable roof, and center hall four-over-four interior floor plan. The type is largely restricted to the 1775 to 1800 period. Two-story massing was virtually absent before the Revolution and by the turn of the century stone was losing favor as a building material. It is a type that is also largely restricted to Ulster County. No two-story stone houses exist in New Jersey. and the type is not common in the lower Hudson Valley. Dwellings with similar massing, form, and plan were constructed to the north in Albany County, but these were typically built of brick and the gambrel roof was the norm.
In Ulster County this building type, sometimes referred to as the Hudson Valley Dutch House, is represented by examples such as the National Register listed Johannes Jansen House (1800) in the Shawangunk Historic District and the George Grosse House in the Rest Plaus Historic District. Yet many of the construction variations of the Stone Ridge houses are truly unique. For example, the three, four, and six-bay facades of the Edward Lounsbery residence, Tack Tavern, and Hasbrouck House, the timber frame with stone gable ends of the Library-South, and the overall size and sophisticated, detailed interiors of the Wynkoop-Lounsbery House all are relatively rare survivals. These significant dwellings existed as part of a rural eighteenth century community and the streetscape still evokes a sense of this representative settlement pattern of the post-Revolutionary period. While village settlements have been preserved in the Schenectady Stockade Historic District, Kingston Stockade District, and the National Historic Landmark Hurley Historic District, Stone Ridge is one of the few remaining examples of colonial settlement in the rural interior of the Hudson Valley.
The stone houses of the village reflect the early prosperity of the small agricultural community. During the nineteenth century the settlement grew and over the course of time became an important stage stop along the Kings Highway, as it was located half-way between Kingston and Ellenville, a distance of 25 miles. An extensive hotel industry evolved in the village, supporting three at one period. With this came the various ancillary services such as wagon shops, blacksmith shops and places to keep a change of horses for the stage. Today none of these hotels survive, but the economic benefit to the village may still be seen in the extensive number of well-built upper and middle class houses that remain from the first half of the nineteenth century.
It was during the commercial and hotel era that the Greek Revival style became the dominant building form in Stone Ridge. Houses in this idiom, ranging from the vernacular, such as the Tocco House, to the high style as exemplified by Maple Lawn (1841), sprang up as it quickly became the dominant architecture of the village. Their presence signaled the new prosperity and the rapidly growing population that was evident throughout the state. They also introduced a new mode of construction as well as style to the area. Frame construction until the second quarter of the nineteenth century was an uncommon occurrence. Now masonry was the exception rather than the rule.
A notable departure from this is the brick built Banker's Daughter Antique Shop (The Dr. Levi Lounsbery House, ca.1840), which is a remarkable Greek Revival residence set back from the road. It is the sole brick residential dwelling in the village and one of only a few in the township of this era. Among the building's impressive characteristics are its massive two-story, five-bay construction, projecting stone lintels and sills on all the windows, and a central front door with arched transom and sidelights. The elegance of the design and the implication of wealth indicate that brick was a specific decision, perhaps to distinguish the house from the more common stone residences that were still the dominant village feature.
The Greek Revival period of development also brought with it a vast increase in modest housing to accommodate the new population. While certain houses, such as the Piper residence, continued to be built on a large scale reflecting a degree of wealth, they did not predominate. Instead, one-story or one-and-one-half story houses, three to four bays wide, were most often being built. Some such as the Graham House, and the Picard House were simply executed with a minimum of detail but enough, such as cornice details and symmetrical design, to establish the form. Other, such as the Nutcracker Antiques building, fell somewhere in between: presenting a formal gable front and making good use of proportion and symmetry to embellish an otherwise simple building.
The commercial hub around the Cooper Street intersection also developed to its current form in the mid-nineteenth century. The three principal commercial buildings that enclose and define the area were all built prior to 1858: DD's Pharmacy (ca.1835), the Chancellor building (ca.1840), and the Globe Cafe (ca.1840's). Together they embodied the economic changes being seen in the community. The Greek Revival DD's Pharmacy and Globe Cafe both predate the later Italianate Chancellor Building, but all were constructed so closely together in time and location that their interrelationship and site are an important commentary on the course of the village growth.
In addition to seeing the rise of the commercial hub, the mid-nineteenth century also brought religious institutions into the Main Street Historic District from the north. Traditionally, the Dutch Reformed Church had been the most important and in some cases the only centralizing and organizing force among the Dutch community in the Hudson Valley. Its historical significance in this regard is well documented. The Marbletown Church (1732) was the third Dutch Reformed Church established in Ulster County. Rebuilt in 1792, it had been located about two miles north, where it could administer to the larger hamlet of Marbletown. The relocation of the church (1851) to the middle of the Main Street Historic District in Stone Ridge signified the shift of the cultural as well as residential and commercial centers here. Like virtually all of the early colonial churches, the Marbletown institution was reconstructed in the mid-nineteenth century in the Greek Revival style. The church is a rare intact example of Greek Revival ecclesiastical architecture. The impressive temple front, heavy tower, and masonry construction combine with the detailed fluted Ionic columns to present a sense of restrained power. The building, constructed using some material from the previous church, has not been significantly altered. The church recalls the eighteenth century ethnic origins of the village, while reflecting the role of religion in the nineteenth century as a unifying expression of rural prosperity.
In front of the church, on either side, are two impressive bluestone mounting blocks. With the opening of the Delaware and Hudson Canal in 1828, about three miles to the east, an extensive quarry industry developed. The stone was brought down from foothills of the Catskills, not far to the west, and shipped via the canal to New York City and elsewhere. This flourishing industry, which had to ship its product through the village, also undoubtedly contributed to the community's growth.
During the middle and late nineteenth century Stone Ridge also benefited from the extensive cement industry in near-by Rosendale. The mining for natural cement, discovered in 1828 when the D and H canal was being dug, was a flourishing industry employing men from all around. The nineteenth century saw the building of many fine homes for professionals such as the brick Dr. Levi Hasbrouck House and the Dr. Dewitt House next to the church.
At the beginning of the twentieth century the fortunes of the village began to wane. The advent of portland cements from Pennsylvania severely hurt the local cement industry. The local market could not compete with the larger plants and more efficient operations. At the height of operations in 1892, there were 12 local plants producing 2,833,107 barrels of cement and employing 5,000 men. In as little as 15 years, by 1907, only three plants remained with an employment of 600. At first, the building of the Ashokan Dam, which was begun in 1908, took up some of the slack in unemployment but with the dam's completion in 1915 there was little left for the workforce in the area. Compounding the problem for Stone Ridge was the building of a new extension of the Ontario and Western Railroad, which opened in 1902 from the previous terminus in Ellenville. The railroad, which now ran to Kingston, bypassed Stone Ridge for the adjacent town of Cottekill. With the railroad as the principal transportation route the importance of the Kings Highway and the towns along it diminished.
In the late 1920's there was a brief surge in development and a slight increase in the town's population, the first increase in 20 years. Tourists from New York were discovering the Catskills. The railroad, which had been instrumental in the village's decline, was now bringing tourists through the area. Some of these visitors stayed and with them came a brief building period when the Craftsman style homes were being erected, both for the newcomers and for the local residents. Of those built, the pair of Craftsman style homes at the south end of the district typical of the house type at that time. The Goodman House and the Jones House were both built in 1925 by Ray Wood, who lived at the other end of the district in what is now the Silverman House. They are good illustrations of the modest homes that were in current favor. The Bungalow homes of this era represent the last major building phase in the Main Street Historic District, since little development has occurred within the last fifty years.
The Main Street Historic District in Stone Ridge is one of the few localities in Ulster County that retains intact representative examples of architecture from each phase of its historic development. The Main Street Historic District has maintained its general setting, layout, and streetscape and has survived as an intact example of rural eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century village growth.
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Kniffen, Fred B. "Folk Housing — Key to Diffusion," Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol.55, No.4, 1965, pp.549-577.
Meinig, D.W. "The Mormon Culture Region: Strategies and Patterns in the Geography of the American West, 1847-1964," Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol.55, No.2, 1965, pp.191-220.
Noble, Allen G. Wood, Brick, & Stone. The North American Settlement Landscape. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press, 1984.
Reynolds, Helen Wilkinson. Dutch Houses in the Hudson Valley before 1776. New York: Dover Publications, 1929.
Tholl, Claire K. The Early Stone Houses of Bergen County. New Jersey — A Survey. Paramus, New Jersey: Bergen County Office of Historical and Cultural Affairs, 1979.
† Kuhn, Robert D., New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Main Street Historic District, Stone Ridge, Town of Marbletown, New York, nomination document, 1988, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
Other places named
Main Street Historic District