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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Reference Number 13000055
State New York
County Washington
Town Fort Ann
Street Address 36 George Street, Fort Ann, NY
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 03/06/2013
Link to full file
The Old Stone House Library, built ca. 1825 as a house for Hiram Shipman, has since the early 1920s functioned as the public library for the community of Fort Ann, New York. It nevertheless remains among the foremost examples of early Champlain Canal-era domestic architecture in Fort Ann, Washington County, with interpretable features dating to that period of its history and its occupancy by the Shipman and later the Swift families. The building, locally distinguished by virtue of its use of cut Potsdam sandstone walls and Federal style ornamentation, was erected for Shipman, who operated a tannery and was a principal partner in the local firm of Pike & Shipman. It was subsequently owned by Willis Swift, Sr., who, like Shipman, was a Vermont native and similarly engaged in tanning and shoe manufacturing industries based in Fort Ann. The building's history as a domicile ended in 1922. It was at that time that it was purchased from the heirs of the Swift family by George Owen Knapp, who donated it to the public for use as a community center and library. Knapp, a founding member and the first president of the Union Carbide Company, developed a large estate adjacent to Lake George and ranks among the foremost historic residents of Fort Ann; his purchase and donation of the building reflected his philanthropic interest in the community. The Old Stone House Library is being nominated at the local significance level in association with Criterion A, in the area of education, for its nearly century-long history as a public library serving the Fort Ann community. It is additionally being nominated under Criterion C, in the area of architecture, as an interpretable example of Champlain Canal-era domestic architecture, and one which shares salient associations with two prominent nineteenth century Fort Ann families.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria