Red Mill Museum Village
This simple two-family dwelling, built in 1859, served the modest needs of many generations of quarry worker families.
Although life in the quarry was hard, living conditions were typical of those accepted by most unskilled workers in the 19th century. Workers told how flying stones rained down on the sheet metal roof and windowpanes often cracked and broke from the blasting in the quarry.
The tenant house consisted of two dwelling units, each, with a parlor and kitchen on the first floor and two bedrooms on the second floor. It was built by local carpenter Eli Bosenbury for a labor cost of $38. The building never had plumbing. Water had to be carried to the kitchen in eight-quart buckets from a spigot located near the stone crusher. Both families used a single-seat outhouse. Since electricity was not installed until the 1940s, tenants used kerosene lamps for light.
Among the many families who lived in the tenant house, the Dalrymples and the Van Camps stayed the longest. Starting in 1860, Peter Dalrymple occupied the house with his wife Elizabeth, and his growing family of eight children. Peter worked as a day laborer in the Quarry and payed $25 annually for his rent. By 1880, his son, James Stout, took tenancy with his wife Mary and daughter Delia. They lived in the house until 1910. Mary had six children
in total, three boys and three girls, but only the boys survived to adulthood. By 1910, not only was James Stout working but Mary was listed in the census as a laundress. None of the Dalrymples could read or write except for Stout.
In 1915, Joseph Van Camp, his wife, Florence, and their six children moved into the very small quarters in the south end of the house. All six children slept on the floor on mattresses or couches in the second bed room. The children had no dressers, but fold ed and stacked their clothes directly on the floor. All the Van Camp children completed a few years of public school before seeking employment in the Quarry or the town. In the 1930s, Joseph converted the house into a One-family dwelling when the other tenant family moved out.
( photo captions )
- This photo shows Peter Dalrymple s family and James Stout Dalrymple s family, who both lived in the Tenant House during the late 19th and early 20th century.
- Left: Van Camp Children in 1949.
- Jenny Van Kamp with the tenant house in the background.
- Joe Van Kamp.