Turning Back The Pages

Now, about 100 years later, that crack in time and space is closed, leaving us wondering at the secrets that were lost there.

Carrie Doring rests in peace

In the July 9 issue of the Adirondack Journal, I wrote about the death of Carrie Doring, the much-beloved servant of Mrs. John L. Russell, whose summer home in Warrensburgh, built by her husband after 1866, was Bonnie Brae Villa. It was located behind the present day U.S. Post Office until it burned March 13, 1980. The barn, which once housed John L. Russell’s magnificent show horses, is still standing. Before Captain John L. Russell bought it after he came back from the Civil War, it was a small farm house owned by J.R. Berry and Russell rebuilt it into a Queen Anne style mansion, the new kitchen area being the original structure. Starting in 1934 the house was renamed “Chalet Swiss” when it was owned by Hilda and Willie Muller.

The Warrensburgh News once described the house as “Bonnie Brae, with its impressive background of mountains, trees, massive lawn, curving driveway, bell tower, fountain and carriage and car port, sporting five fireplaces, round windows, elegant barns and expansive grounds, the Bonnie Brae was a study in local historical architecture.” It was a dark day in Warrensburgh history when 60 or so firefighters from three companies battled the blaze which razed the building at 203 Main Street, noted for its large bell tower marked with the letter “R.” for Russell. I was there when that bell tower crashed to the ground in a mass of flames.

Miss Doring, 70, who died of heart trouble, was buried on the Russell lot in the Warrensburgh Cemetery. In the July 9 article, I wrote that she did not have a gravestone, because there was none listed in a grave inventory. About a month ago, however, I indeed found her grave on the corner of the Russell lot at the cemetery under a neat little stone simply engraved “Carrie.”

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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