More Long Lost Buildings of Poughkeepsie: The Reynolds Houses on Mill Street

Thank you to all of the Local History Nerds who attended our program on the Long Lost Buildings of the City of Poughkeepsie, you were a lovely audience! In the presentation we discussed how much the city has changed over the years, and how many lovely buildings we have lost. Today, we are going to look at a couple of the ones we missed! You can find all sorts of great old photographs of Poughkeepsie’s buildings on our Main and Market Page, which is where we have two photos of the Reynolds family homes that once stood on Mill Street. Present day Columbus and Mill Streets would not be recognizable to the Reynolds family or anybody else who happened to be living in that neck of the woods over a century ago. 

You may remember reading a little bit about the Reynolds family in a previous blog post, where we talked about the William T. Reynolds company. Well, it just so happens that we have a couple of photos of the homes where William and his family lived, which are now gone. Photo-01 shows two houses side by side. The house on the left is #229, the home of William T. Reynolds himself, who is pictured on the porch leaning against the column. William was the grandson of the original founder of the family business and was responsible for expanding the factory along the railroad tracks in downtown Poughkeepsie. His wife Louise, and daughter May Louise are pictured on the porch with him, while his son Harris is pictured laying on the lawn. The house on the right is #231, the home of William’s mother Phoebe Reynolds, who was widowed when this photo was taken. Photo-02 shows a closeup of the upstairs window of house #231 with an unknown sad woman looking out. This could be Phoebe, or it could be a widow named Mary Allen who was living with the Reynolds family based on the 1880 census. 

Photo-03, which was taken sometime after 1881, shows house #229 expanded and improved. The house has lost its porch columns but has gained some detailed carvings in the woodwork throughout. Once again, William T. Reynolds is there with his family to show off his home and all its grandeur. However, both of these houses would not make it through the 20th century, especially the Urban Renewal days of the 1960s. The entire block was altered as Columbus Drive shifted and at least four old buildings were removed, including both of the Reynolds houses. These photos along with a few maps are the only evidence that prove these houses once existed. 

1880 Federal Census
Poughkeepsie Directory 1876
Sanborn Maps of Poughkeepsie – 1887, 1950
City of Poughkeepsie map 1876

01 – Photo of both Reynolds family homes on Mill Street, circa 1876. LH Collections.
02 – Close up of the top window showing a sad lady.
03 – Photo showing # 229 Mill Street after renovations, circa 1882. LH Collections.
04 – Map showing the Reynolds homes on Mill Street 1876.
05 – Sanborn map of Poughkeepsie from 1950 – LH Collections.