Vintage Photos of Selah Reeve House – 131 Montgomery


Recently someone brought to my attention these old photos of the Selah Reeve house that can be found online at the Library of Congress. This home is currently in foreclosure and can be had for $32,900. It probably needs quadruple that amount in renovations, but this is one of Newburgh’s historic gems that no one wants to see ruined. It is said to be the third oldest home (correction, just found out it’s the 2nd oldest home in Newburgh dating to c.1800). You can read all about the Reeves at the Preserve Newburgh website. Take a look at the photos below and you can see clues to the homes masonic ties. You can also see the rubble across the street from the destruction of urban renewal. It’s amazing to see many details that are still there. Check out the banister and railing that look to have been naturally polished with the oils from dwellers hands as they climbed the stairs.

A survey was done in 1968 by Columbia University. It states, ” A fine example of gambrel roof construction this building was owned by several of Newburgh’s more prominent citizens in the early part of the nineteenth century, and one room served for three years, 1817-1820, as the masonic lodge hall. From decorative elements and documents, the can be dated only as approximately of the 1800-1810 period. The entire block and surrounding neighborhood of other nineteenth century examples is currently threatened by urban renewal plans. Measured and drawn Spring, 1968 by C.R. Bierce in conjunction with work towards an M.S. Degree in the School of Architecture, Columbia University.”








00010v– Photos and images all from Library of Congress

6 Comment

  • I was always told my Mother was born in that house. Is there any record of occupants Sept. 1907?The name was Marjorie Corwin.

    • Pamela I would suggest looking up the 1910 census

    • Hi Pamela,

      According to the 1910 Census, 2 year old Marjorie Corwin was living at 287 First St. (the enumerator’ handwriting is a bit hard to read, but I’m fairly sure it’s “First”) along with her two older siblings Louise (3), George, Jr. (5) and their parents George Sr. (27) and Edna (24). George, Sr. and Edna have been married six years as of 28 April 1910. George Sr.’s profession is listed as a “merchant” at a “carriage co”. Let me know of you’d like me to send you a pdf of the census record.

  • A true sin. What a shame that Newburgh has gotten this bad. I remember the city at its high point and the start of its decline.

  • I really hope this house gets into the hands of someone who will treat it right. Whatever details remain really need to be preserved as this house is important both historically and architecturally. I always found it interesting that the house was planned as a duplex. Before I saw the original plans on the HABS/HAER site, I’d assumed it was spilt into two houses at some later time. I hope it’s OK to post a photo here. I found this pic of a platter with a scene depicting the view from Newburgh, and the Selah Reeve house can be seen in the engraving. It’s not a terribly accurate depiction of the house, bit still pretty cool IMO. The platter was produced by John Jackson at his pottery at Burslem , Staffordshire, England in the early 1830s

  • Hello
    Selah Reeve is a G5 grandfather of mine. I am curious to know what has become of the property since the post in 2013?