Happy 90th Birthday Administration house

Rockhaven Administration House

This year, 2020, marks our Administration House’s 90th birthday. The house was originally built by Martin Roser, one of Herman Roser’s sons. Herman and his wife lived in a house next door to the east. Herman started the family business, Roser’s Tannery, within view and located on New London Turnpike. Martin served in Normandy during WWI and joined the family business when he returned. He came home admiring the style of the homes over there. So, he had this home designed in the French Provincial style and built it at the start of the Great Depression in 1930.

This house was not built using the traditional materials of France but used modern building materials of the time. There are I-beams in the garage ceiling, basement ceiling and probably more we can’t see. Its outer walls are cinder blocks with stucco overlaid inside and out. We have found knob-and-tube wiring in the attic.

The original stove in the kitchen was probably oil or propane and had a copper exhaust pipe exiting up the interior wall between the kitchen and dining room. The original insulation was common hemp matts, nailed between the joists in the attic and laid on top of the ceiling of the second floor. Martin had two sons, and the room Andrea uses as an office was likely the nursery. It is next to the master bedroom and has a Dutch door. It has been fun trying to imagine the Rosers living here and Martin walking down the hill to work every day.