The Manager’s House is the oldest building in the village dating between 1750 and 1760. It was constructed by Isaac Palmer, who operated a lumber mill on the site during the mid 1700s. In 1836 the home was occupied by the Smith family. James Partial Smith served as the manager of the works and saw to the day-to-day operations of the factory. Mr. Allaire primarily lived in New York and would visit every other weekend. The manager was paid the handsome sum of $2,500 a year. The Smith family was considered upper middle class and lived in a very large house for the time period. In 1836, the family consisted of six people: James, his wife Elizabeth (née Poole), and their children: Sarah, Ensley, Rushmore, James. Two children, Oscar and Howard, were born after 1836. Given their economic status, the Smith family may have also employed a servant girl to help with the house cooking and cleaning, but we do not know for sure.
The house itself is rather impressive and serves as a good example to compare the living arrangements between the workers in the row house and the wealthier Smith family. On the first floor is located the main kitchen with a hearth and a bake oven (the only one in a private home). They also have a summer hearth which is located in the basement, so that cooking in the summer will not heat up the entire house during the warm months. The first floor has three rooms while the second floor has five bedrooms.
Today the Manager’s house is one of the most popular stops for visitors. Interpreters can often be found doing chores such as laundry, mending, or hearth cooking here. Visitors can help draw water for the Kitchen Garden or try their hand at mending clothes.