The Foreman’s Cottage is the oldest brick structure on site; built in 1827, it was the first building constructed under James P. Allaire’s ownership.
In 1836 the Johnson family lived in this building. Mr. Jacob Johnson was the foreman at the Howell Works. The foreman was an important position and was probably considered middle class. He oversaw the operation of the furnace workers. He would make sure that they obeyed the rules of the village, such as no drunkenness on site. At his New York factory, Mr. Allaire had this sign, that is below, posted.
“Any person that brings, or drinks spirituous liquors on my premises, will be discharged without any pay for the week.”
“James P. Allaire.”
The Johnson family consisted of five people: Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, their two daughters, and Mr. Johnson’s sister Emeline (until she married). Mr. and Mrs. Johnson slept downstairs in a slaw bed, which resembles today’s Murphy bed. The children and Emeline slept upstairs in a loft that was also used for storage. This home was considered spacious by the standards of the time period.
Today, the garden outside the house is planted with medicinal plants. In the spring, visitors can purchase plants from our Heritage Garden Collection in the General Store.