Nina Daniels



Wednesday, November 10, 1948

In these Ruminations regarding the "House that David Built" we shall not feature him as a great financier merely, but as a pioneer in a great wilderness encouraging men to build homes on his lands and with ambitions to possess a great domain for himself. Joseph Rosseel was Parish's first agent. Rosseel came to America in 1807 from Ghent, Switzerland, with letters of introduction to many prominent men, among them one David Parish, the American representative of the great banking house of Hope and Company of Amsterdam, Holland. Parish had been sent to America on a special mission that we need not interest ourselves at this time. Joseph Rosseel was 25 years of age when he began his explorations in the North Country and continued as his agent for 50 years. He finally purchased for David Parish in this section 72,000 acres at $1.50 an acre, establishing the headquarters at Ogdensburg. Here a beautiful home was built-builders being brought in from Montreal and other large cities for the purpose—and the most elegant materials obtainable were used. David and his successors, George the Second, always kept this splendid establishment on the banks of the St. Lawrence for their headquarters, driving in their fine coaches or riding their thoroughbred horses to and from their other holdings in Parishville, Rossie, Antwerp and Parish. This home is now the Remington Art Memorial.

I have mentioned three Parishes connected with our town, but only one at a time ever lived in Ogdensburg, and none of them ever stayed in our Village very long at a time. David came first in 1809. He left in 1816, never to return. He was followed in 1816 by his younger brother George, who remained until 1838 when he returned also to Europe. Following him came George, the second nephew of David and George, first, being son of their brother Richard. We should think of all three as gentlemen in the true European sense—rich, well born, cultured, thorough men of the world, at home in drawing-rooms on both sides of the water. The two whom we know best, David and George, second, were bachelors.

As David was the one who built a house and barn in Parishville and furnished the former, we will now concern ourselves with him alone and learn about this house-building adventures from his correspondence with several of his other agents and advisors, for Rosseel was not the only agent he had in developing his schemes in this large domain.

(To be continued)



North Country