More House

More House

The More House came to the Farmers’ Museum from the village of Roxbury in Delaware County, New York. Built in 1818, by Jonas and Deborah More, the house features the popular Federal-style of the era. The More House tells the story of a prosperous family in Central New York from the early to mid 1800’s.

The More Family

Jonas and Deborah More lived in Delaware County their entire lives. Their parents were some of the earliest white settlers in the area. The More farm was primarily a dairy farm, and the family also profited from other business ventures. The family operated the gristmill and sawmills that Deborah had inherited from her family. Jonas was involved in over eighty land deals during his lifetime. Jonas ran several businesses and served in public offices. He was also a high-ranking Freemason.

Jonas and Deborah helped serve their community by establishing the Dutch Reformed Church of Roxbury. In fact, they held some of the earliest services in their barn. The couple had eight children who lived to adulthood and one that died as a child. The children were responsible for helping around the farm.

Decorative painting on the door and lintel show that the More family was more well to do than others in the village.

The New and Growing Rural Middle Class

The changing society of the mid-nineteenth century boosted rural New York into a prosperous area. Ranked among the wealthiest men in Delaware County in 1850, Jonas More exemplified the new and growing class of professional people. People in rural areas helped their growing communities by serving in public office and founding local organizations like churches. Due to improvements in production and transportation, people had access to a wide variety of new fashions, decorative styles, and merchandise.

Related Objects and Documents


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Plate

Plates were regularly used in all households in the nineteenth century for serving food. This particular plate is made of porcelain from China and was a popular style during Jonas More’s lifetime. It would have been available to middle-class and wealthy people.

Down Spout

Down spouts are used for collecting water from the roof and draining it down and away from the house. The average farm family’s house would not have had well decorated down spouts such as this one, if it had them at all.

Door and Fanlight Decoration

Unlike the doors on the Lippitt Farmhouse that are plainly painted, the door on the More House is brightly painted. The half circle painted above the door, meant to look like a fancy fanlight window, would have been a very expensive addition to a home in the early nineteenth century.

Lintel

Frames on windows hid the cracks where windows were attached to a house and prevented drafts from coming through those openings. The window frames in the More House are decorated with large, fancy lintels to impress guests who might be invited to the house.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper from the early nineteenth century is rarely found in complete sections today. These two samples are small but offer historians an idea of how early Americans decorated their homes. While we often think of early objects having dull, drab colors, the section of paper on the right shows how brightly colored some wallpapers were. Sunlight, smoke, soot, … Continue reading Wallpaper

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