Dryden House James Dryden (1856-1921) was a successful Deseronto merchant who was also the town’s Reeve in the late nineteenth century. He was the first owner of the property that is now the McGlade Funeral Home, where he lived with his wife, Melissa, and their daughter Jennie. Dryden was born in Napanee and married Melissa Irvine on November 9th, 1881. On their marriage certificate, his occupation is given as ‘harness maker’. Their daughter, Jennie was born in 1888. In 1947 Jennie Dryden sold the handsome bay-fronted house to Evan J. Gardner, a local funeral director, who had previously operated his business from his house at 122 Green Street, Deseronto. Gardner had two daughters, Delores and Elaine, who remember the house well. They describe the building as having had three fireplaces, a butler's pantry, a maid's pantry and coal chutes. There was a front and rear staircase, the latter being mostly used by servants. There was no separate accommodation for the Gardners when they owned the property: funerals would be set up in the front room, library or dining rooms (all three if necessary). The Gardner sisters remember having to have their Christmas in the kitchen one year, as all the principle rooms were occupied by the recently departed. Mr Gardner had to move the Christmas tree three times. The property was sold in 1949 to Jack White, who continued to use it as a funeral home. In the 1960s the business was renamed White & Morris, with Peter Morris as the funeral director. It is now operated as the McGlade Funeral Home. Architecture The building is in keeping with late 19th century vernacular residential designs, i.e., a design that was not high-style architecture conceived by a professional designer, but featuring forms and layouts that were common for the period in which they were constructed. Original remaining features that are typical of the late-19th century include the handsome, two-storey bay front with large windows, the carved brackets supporting the eaves, and the veranda composed of decoratively milled woodwork, including playful spindles at the top. Wooden features in houses of this period may well have been manufactured in the Rathbun Company’s sash and door factory on Mill Street [site 33]. Verandas not only ornament a building but, in the 1800s provided the practical function of protecting the entrance from precipitation, shade to keep the building cool in the summer, and as a much desired outdoor living space in the warmer weather. The Dryden House is one of increasingly fewer houses in Deseronto where an original or old veranda remain. While verandas are more susceptible to the elements, residences that were designed to have them almost always lose much of their aesthetic appeal. The building has a play of symmetry and asymmetry in its composition. The main entrance and veranda on the south side give the initial impression of an asymmetrical plan, however, the footprint of the original building (the rear extension extending southward is later) is symmetrical with the central bay flanked by walls of equal width. The stucco parge coat of the exterior is not original but was commonly added over brick or wood from the 1920s – 1950s: over brick that had become cracked or discoloured with soot; and, over wood to eliminate the need to paint or as a fire retardant (Deseronto, like many lumber towns, having experienced many catastrophic fires).

(Click on the image above for a closer look.)

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Dryden House

James Dryden (1856-1921) was a successful Deseronto merchant who was also the town’s Reeve in the late nineteenth century. He was the first owner of the property that is now the McGlade Funeral Home, where he lived with his wife, Melissa, and their daughter Jennie.

Dryden was born in Napanee and married Melissa Irvine on November 9th, 1881. On their marriage certificate, his occupation is given as ‘harness maker’. Their daughter, Jennie was born in 1888.

In 1947 Jennie Dryden sold the handsome bay-fronted house to Evan J. Gardner, a local funeral director, who had previously operated his business from his house at 122 Green Street, Deseronto. Gardner had two daughters, Delores and Elaine, who remember the house well.

They describe the building as having had three fireplaces, a butler’s pantry, a maid’s pantry and coal chutes. There was a front and rear staircase, the latter being mostly used by servants. There was no separate accommodation for the Gardners when they owned the property: funerals would be set up in the front room, library or dining rooms (all three if necessary). The Gardner sisters remember having to have their Christmas in the kitchen one year, as all the principle rooms were occupied by the recently departed. Mr Gardner had to move the Christmas tree three times.

The property was sold in 1949 to Jack White, who continued to use it as a funeral home. In the 1960s the business was renamed White & Morris, with Peter Morris as the funeral director. It is now operated as the McGlade Funeral Home.

Architecture

The building is in keeping with late 19th century vernacular residential designs, i.e., a design that was not high-style architecture conceived by a professional designer, but featuring forms and layouts that were common for the period in which they were constructed. Original remaining features that are typical of the late-19th century include the handsome, two-storey bay front with large windows, the carved brackets supporting the eaves, and the veranda composed of decoratively milled woodwork, including playful spindles at the top. Wooden features in houses of this period may well have been manufactured in the Rathbun Company’s sash and door factory on Mill Street [site 33].

Verandas not only ornament a building but, in the 1800s provided the practical function of protecting the entrance from precipitation, shade to keep the building cool in the summer, and as a much desired outdoor living space in the warmer weather. The Dryden House is one of increasingly fewer houses in Deseronto where an original or old veranda remain. While verandas are more susceptible to the elements, residences that were designed to have them almost always lose much of their aesthetic appeal.

The building has a play of symmetry and asymmetry in its composition. The main entrance and veranda on the south side give the initial impression of an asymmetrical plan, however, the footprint of the original building (the rear extension extending southward is later) is symmetrical with the central bay flanked by walls of equal width.

The stucco parge coat of the exterior is not original but was commonly added over brick or wood from the 1920s – 1950s: over brick that had become cracked or discoloured with soot; and, over wood to eliminate the need to paint or as a fire retardant (Deseronto, like many lumber towns, having experienced many catastrophic fires).