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House on Breck's Lane, Delaware photographs

circa 1820
 Collection
Accession: 1969-048

Abstract

170 Breck's Lane was owned by William Winder "Chick” Laird, Jr. (1910-1989) and served as workers' housing. Laird was the director of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and a financial advisor, starting his own brokerage firm in Wilmington, Delaware. This collection contains twenty photographic prints of various interior and exterior architectural views of 170 Breck's Lane before architectural rennovations by the owner.

Dates

  • circa 1820

Creator

Extent

10 item(s)

General Physical Description

20 photographic prints: b&w; 8 x 10 in.

Historical Note

170 Breck's Lane was owned by William Winder "Chick” Laird, Jr. (1910-1989) and served as workers' housing. Laird was the director of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and a financial advisor, starting his own brokerage firm in Wilmington, Delaware. The house is built in a stone construction style with brick arches and a natural stone foundation. Norman B. Wilkinson, Hagley Museum staff, conducted an architectural report of 170 Breck's Lane in May 1969. Jim Akerman, Hagley Museum exhibits shop director and accompanying staff present on architectural survey, prepared a memorandum of his observations about the residence's early construction details in attempt to date the residence:

"The hardware on the doors indicate that the stone portion of the house was built before 1850. The wood structural beams and supports were cut by an up-and-down saw. The transition period when the up-and-down saw was being replaced by the circular saw was 1830-1860; thereafter cutting was done almost entirety with the circular saw. The doors appear to have been put together with wrought iron clinching nails, a type nail commonly used in doors and shutters until about 1860. The plaster, or mortar, is made of lime and sand. On the first floor the floor boards have been replaced or covered over. The flooring on the second floor seems original, fastened down with cut nails of the post-1830s. No ridge pole was used in the construction of the roof. The rafters are the original ones. The stone cellar steps that lead out under the "new" kitchen apear to have been made for rolling down barrels or other containers. A lean-to (?) addition was once on the west side of the house; no evidence of an access door between the house and this addition is visible. At the east end of the house, the front corner, and in the side rear yard are huge blocks of stone that appear to have supported the railroad trestle that crossed Brecks Lane at this point. A puzzle is the big support stone at the northeast corner of the house on which the corner of the building itself seems to rest; was it part of the original construction? Would a rail line be run this close to a dwelling place? Some digging at this spot is suggested. The rail line, if we are correct in date, was put through in the 1870s; the house was presumably built before the 1830s."

Scope and Content

This collection contains 20 photographic prints (10 views, 2 copies of each view) of various interior and exterior architectural views of 170 Breck's Lane before architectural rennovations by the owner. Architectural elements include: stairway, doorway, chimney, closet, stove, floral wallpaper, metal door hardware, and mantel.

Location

GL Box 1

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
House on Breck's Lane, Delaware photographs
Status:
Author:
Chase Markee
Date:
2013
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400