The Stone Building Photos


The Stone Building

This Stone Building has stood at the edge of the Little Elk Creek since the last quarter of the 18th century. A dendrochronology study indicates that the building was constructed in the 1780s. Archaeologists reports, land records, and a water color painting all show that a log structure stood to the right (north) of the Stone Building. This earlier structure may have been constructed by and served as the home of John Hans Steelman, a local Indian trader. Steelman arrived in the Elk Landing area in the late 1600s after migrating from Wilmington, Delaware. More archeological digs and research is needed to confirm this long standing theory. There is much speculation about how the Stone Building was used over the centuries. Our historic architect theorized that it was used for commercial purposes as well as a dwelling. Some say this commercial purpose may have been a tavern, however, no hard evidence has been found to confirm the theory.


The Back of the Stone Building

The rear of the Stone Building paints a completely different picture when compared to the front. Where the front could pass for the front of any 18th century residence, the back, by virtue of these now stoned over entrance openings, shows a building that may have been used for cargo storage in the days when Elk Landing was a thriving port. It is theorized that wooden ramps may have extended from the house to wharfs which extended into the Little Elk Creek where schooners and barges unloaded their cargo.

          


The Interior of the Stone Building

After decades of neglect, there was very little left of the Stone Building, save for its exterior walls which were fast deteriorating. All debris from the roof collapse a decade ago, was removed at that time and the walls were left open to the environment. Trees and vines were growing from the basement floor and a variety of animals were residing there too. Once the vegetation and the four legged residents were removed, a brief archeological study was conducted on the basement's dirt floor. Major renovations began on the Stone Building and were completed in 2009. These selected photographs (taken in May of 2011) show the new first floor stairway, the first floor rooms, their fireplaces, as well as interior features such as chair rails, plastered walls, and a partially closed in north face doorway that has historic architects scratching their heads as to its use.

           

          


2nd Floor - The Stone Building

The second floor and attic were also partially restored in the 2009 renovation. These photographs show what remains of the original walls, fireplaces, and two of the second floor's three windows. Note too that the plaster disappears at two locations where a long lost wall once helped separate the floor into four separate rooms. The photos also show that only one of those rooms was heated in the original floor plan. There is evidence of a "modern" heating unit in the northwest corner of the room that was added sometime in the 20th century.

         


The Future…

As you can see, much work needs to be done to restore the Stone Building to its original grandeur. The so called "Phase I" restoration that the modern pictures show, cost over $300,000. It is estimated that another one to 2 million dollars will be required to complete the restoration. But that's just the physical work. There is much more to be done to determine the exact uses of the Stone Building. Was it a warehouse as well as a dwelling? Are the rumors correct that it was also used as a tavern for weary travelers to eat and rest before continuing on their voyages either by land or by water? In addition, more archeological investigations are needed to reveal the existence, the age, and the uses of the log structure that was said to have resided on the north face of the Stone Building and, it is presumed, predated the Stone Building, possibly by as much as a century. All these questions and more remain to be answered as the Historic Elk Landing Foundation continues on its quest to establish Elk Landing as a living history museum near the head of the Little Elk Creek.


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