Ramsdell House, Lindsay Road, York, Maine
Felling dates: Spring 1747, Summer 1748, and Winter 1749/50
Site chronology produced: RAM 1618-1749
Architectural Description and Historical Documentation:
The main part of the small Ramsdell House, twenty-five feet wide by twelve feet deep, consists of two rooms, a central chimney and an attic. As part of current research on the building, finish materials have been removed and the frame is now visible. The original south portion of the building, built c. 1747, is believed to have been moved to this site from the opposite side of Lindsay Street in the early nineteenth century. The fact that there is a span of over seven feet between two of the vertical framing members on the east wall of that structure, wide enough to accommodate double doors, suggests that the building has first used as an outbuilding or shop. There appears to have been an overhang on the north end of this building. On the new site, the building was used as a dwelling. Wallpaper, some of it dating to the 1840s, was applied directly to the framing and sheathing, and the exposed wooden ceiling was painted. At some point, the building was enlarged by eleven and one half feet to the north. Perhaps at the time when the north part was added, the walls of the south portion were furred in, new studs put in place, and the walls and ceilings plastered.
The original interpretation of the dendrochronology study was that both parts of the building were constructed at approximately the same time. Now, it seems more likely that the oak timbers in the north portion that dated to 1747 to 1749-50 were reused from the dismantled north wall of the original south part of the building, or were reused from another building.
In 1882, another structure was drawn up and attached to form a wing on the north part of the rear wall. The building included king post trusses. In 1902, the front vestibule, thought to have part of the near-by Sewell House originally, was attached to the front of the Ramsdell House. In 1946 a second rear addition was built south of the wing.
The property on which the Ramsdell House sits has been part of the glebe land of the First Parish Church since the seventeenth century. In 2002, the Old York Historical Society acquired the buildings on the site from the Ramsdell Family. Since 2003, the house has been the subject of extensive research and archaeology. The Society intends to use the property to interpret the lives of ordinary people in York.
Miles, D H, 2004 “The Tree-Ring Dating of The Ramsdell House, Lindsay Road, York, Maine”, ODL unpubl rep 2004/8
Museums of Old York