Likely built as a worker’s dwelling in the 19th century, this petite cottage has charm in its compact size and is a short distance from the amenities and transit in Cold Spring, N.Y.
The house on the market at 337 Main Street is listed with an address of Cold Spring but is technically located in the adjacent village of Nelsonville; both are part of the larger town of Philipstown.
Located in Putnam County, the village is nestled near the shore of the Hudson and in the midst of the scenic Hudson Highlands. The first European settlers arrived in the early 18th century, and while Cold Spring benefited from a riverfront landing, it was industry that brought an economic boom to the area in the 19th century.
The West Point Foundry, now a preserve, operated from 1817 to the early 20th century, causing a population influx that required a need for houses, churches and local businesses. The arrival of the Hudson River Railroad in Cold Spring in the late 1840s further spurred development downtown and in the adjacent villages.
The cottage on Main Street is an example of the modest frame residences that were scattered throughout the villages in the 19th century. While its general silhouette and small, rectangular attic windows would appear to date it to the early 19th century, it may have a later construction date.
It is just outside of the Cold Spring Historic District but a 1979 inventory form for the house provides a few clues to its origin. The surveyor noted that the house doesn’t appear on mid 19th century maps of the area and concluded that it was constructed as worker’s housing circa 1880 in a style that continued the vernacular Greek Revival tradition of earlier in the century.
Unfortunately, online research didn’t dig up any historic maps for this stretch of Main Street that would definitively solve the question. A map of 1868 does actually show one small house owned by Mrs. Purdy located on the land where this house now sits, although the surveyor who filled out the inventory form concluded it was not this house. The Sanborn maps of Cold Spring that are available from the 1880s do not include this stretch of Main Street. The house is shown on a 1927 Sanborn map, but it clearly pre-dates that time.
This isn’t a mansion from the Gilded Age, so its original details match the simplicity of its construction. There are wide planked floorboards throughout most of the house, with the patina and patches that give them some aged appeal and point to a 19th century construction date. Deep baseboards are also found in most of the rooms along with simple window and door moldings. A niche with built-in shelves is in a corner of the dining room.
As suspected from the one and a half-story exterior, it has a fairly simple layout with living, dining and kitchen on the first floor and two bedrooms and a full bath in the sloped-ceiling spaces above. The kitchen and bath have neutral finishes and appear in good repair.
The house is set on a stone foundation and the grade slopes in the rear, allowing for a walk-out basement with exposed beams on the ceiling and room for storage or use as a workspace.
A porch stretches across the front of the facade, with views of Main Street and the adjoining neighbors. The rear yard offers a bit more privacy and some wooded views. Workers in the 19th century probably wouldn’t have relaxed in their own spa after a hard days work, but this fenced-in back yard comes with a barrel sauna. There is also a deck off the living room with room for a dining table.
At just under two miles from the Cold Spring station, the property has easy access to the city via MetroNorth. Downtown Cold Spring also offers a walkable area full of shops and restaurants. One of those is independent bookstore Split Rock, owned by former Brooklynites, and currently open for online orders.
The house is listed at $397,500 with William Pugh of Houlihan Lawrence – Cold Spring Brokerage.
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