Rider-Hopkins Farm and Olmsted Camp - Table of Contents


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#5 on the map


The text below is a reprint of the nomination for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places prepared by Olaf W. Shelgren Jr. and Dr. Francis R. Kowsky

The dormitory is a two-story framed building with vertical siding and a wood shingle hipped roof. It stands 30 feet north of the main cabin.

This structure was originally erected in 1909 as a small barn. Around 1926, a second floor was added to serve as a dormitory for summertime camp visitors . Since that time, the building, which was also the locale of amateur family theatrics, has been called "the dormitory." Today [1998], the ground floor is used as a workshop; the second floor still serves as sleeping quarters.

The exterior of this two-story building was stained to unify the older wood of the first floor with the new wood of the second floor. Natural weathering has completed this task.

In 1997 this structure was also raised and rolled forward so that a new retaining foundation and floor slab could be poured on a site located 10' further to the east. The new placement was to avoid roof destruction caused by falling needles of two nearby larch trees. Since the new foundation has raised the building ten inches higher above grade than originally sited, new platforms were set at the base of both stairs, and the two threefold doors on the east side were lowered to reach ground level. The original two-inch thick beechwood horse stalls on the first floor were dissembled and the material was reused in constructing three new spaces: shower stall, bathroom and tool stall. All new plumbing and electric lines were also installed during this building's renovation.

The Olmsted Camp

The Olmsted Camp is a five-acre area in the southwest corner of the Rider-Hopkins Farm property.

Having no legal boundaries distinct from those of the farm, the camp consists of five wooden structures and a garden disposed within an old-fashioned greensward, viz., an area of lawn shaded by trees planted singly or in irregular groups.

On the west and north sides, the camp lies open to views of the Hopkins house and farmland; on the east and south, woodlands form the property boundary and screen the camp from outside observation. On the south, a steep bank descends 70 feet to the Cattaraugus Creek.

The camp, which continues to be used as a family summer retreat, contains the following buildings:

The Olmsted Camp buildings are in the Arts and Crafts style, with red cedar shingle roofs (except for one of the cottages) and board and batten siding. All of these building are simply constructed and designed for summer use only.

Studs and rafters are exposed on the interiors where internal partitions are formed with vertical paneling. The maple floors are one or two steps above grade. Windows are single valve casement type and usually have a top row of three small panes over one large pane. Doors are made of vertical boards, tongue and grooved, and held together on one side by horizontal wood cleats at top and bottom and a diagonal cleat in between.

The main cabin and the dormitory have
hipped roofs; the three smaller cabins have saddleback roofs.

Exterior and interior walls of all five buildings are unpainted. However, the porch floor of the main cabin, which is of Douglas fir, is painted a neutral gray and the ends of the rafters at the eaves are painted teal blue.

Windows on all of the camp buildings are painted various shades of dark green

Photos and their arrangement © 2001 Chuck LaChiusa
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