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> Yankee Buildings, New England Area
Nathan Hale
post Feb 13 2007, 09:33 PM
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As promised a VERY long time ago, I said I would do a short write-up on houses and buildings in America in the 18th century. For mapmakers- this should provide some help with buildings depending on where they're having their map take place.

But on to the buildings:

barns- barns were pretty basic, but still essential. They stored crops, livestock, and tools used for the day's work. Now the first misconception is that ALL barns were red. In fact, most barns were UNPAINTED. In rural areas paint was VERY expensive, especially strong colored paints like red. By and large farmers were too poor to pay for painting a barn. In fact, some could not even afford to properly paint their houses. But yes- if you're doing a barn, which you probably should if you're doing a basic farm, it should be unpainted and weathered in color. I would imagine we're talking grey-brown smokey in color. Just think to yourself what a building with no paint on it looks like after a number of years. That's the color we're talking.

As mentioned, the popular red barn and silo don't really appear until the mid 19th century. They could be used in a Civil War mod, but during the 18th century most people just had a basic, rectanular, unpainted barn. Smaller is safer, too. Most lower-income farmers didn't make much. So a basic one floor storage barn is perfectly legit.

Silo: not a good idea. Most silos are 19th century buildings. Probably one to avoid in general.

Houses: Houses come in many shapes and styles, but most are rectangular. In New England almost ALL RURAL houses are going to be clapboard. This means long board running the length of the side of the house. Brick was EXPENSIVE in New England, but present. A proper brick house might be a nice Boston or New London or New Haven mansion. But if we're out in the country, wood is by far your best bet. Windows should be sash windows. A sash window is a wood-framed window with your basic set of small panes of glass in it. Doors: doors should be basic single piece wood doors. Screen doors and French window doors aren't proper at all. Screens are another 19th century device. Shutters: again something EVERYONE wants to add to EVERY BG house it seems. But in reality most rural farmers did NOT have shutters in 1776. They usually just had the windows on there. Shutters were usually the province of the very wealthy. It was not until the mid 19th century that shutters became common for run of the mill farmers. Paint: most houses of the day were of fairly neutral color. Off-white was very common, pure white much less so. Beige, tans, even some grey-blues would be present but not as plentiful as your basic off-white. Chimneys: A MUST! These people heated their houses by burned wood, and they cooked that way too. Every decent house should have inside a fireplace and at least one chimney. Chimneys can appear: one in the middle, one on the very end, or two at 1/3 in from the ends. But you get the idea. If you're in a coastal town with British sympathies, some chimineys can have a single stripe of white paint around near the top. It was common for loyalists in coastal towns to add white stripes to their chimneys so the British would not harass them when they came ashore. Many accounts of this exist in the New London burning campaign. Porches: probably avoid. Most houses did not actually have the large porches we know today, especially in New England. They only appeared later in the 18th century in the south usually.

Pre-Revolutionary House


Interior View, 1600s House


Hale house: Again you see the clapboard style and basic end chimneys. Double-hung sash windows as usual.

Nathan Hale House and Other Houses

http://www.branfordhistory.org/harrisonhouse.html

Here is a house of a bit different color: faded red. The color is not common, but not really uncommon either. You'll find some houses of this color, but beware- don't match your barn to this unless you've found a particular historical example. Red barns were fairly rare again. This is an older 18th century house. It has a single larger chimney in the middle of the house and smaller windows. It's typical of newer houses of the early 18th century. It is two floors, but still fairly small and retains the 17th century style of center single chimney.

http://www.stanleywhitman.org/

Here's another house from the early-mid 18th century. The syle is similar, but you can see some differences. Notice the paint scheme- is basic brown untreated wood, but with some painted sash windows. This is another method you could try- natural finish sides, but colored trim. Have a look around that website for various images. http://www.stanleywhitman.org/historic_house.html

Larger homes:

Trumbull House

Here is John Trumbull home. This house mixes elements of the earlier small houses with the later houses. Churches: White, white, more white! The classic "white steeple little church" is of New England origin from this time. NO STAINED GLASS. Everyone assumes all churches have stained glass it seems, but this is not the case. Windows are tall windows with regular panes of glass.

Shacks other small stuff: small buldings that were junk or what have you would usually be unpainted and have just a door and maybe a small window. Glass was expensive, keep that in mind; and so was paint.
Remember if you're doing a complete homestead to add a privy/outhouse. People didn't have toilets, and most went outside in small shack-like buildings. The poor usually just did their business outdoors or in the woods.

Well this should be enough to get you started in the North.

In the future I plan on doing another post on southern homes and buildings as well (esp. Virginia and Maryland examples). That's all for now.

This post has been edited by Nathan Hale: Apr 24 2011, 03:36 PM


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JakeParlay
post Feb 13 2007, 09:42 PM
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awesome info in there, thank you for that. a very helpful chunk of information! cool house too

This post has been edited by JakeParlay: Feb 13 2007, 09:43 PM
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Desertfox
post Feb 13 2007, 10:11 PM
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Will those house images be used in future BG maps?


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jackx
post Feb 13 2007, 10:28 PM
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No. All this historical information was posted in the mapping section so that both team and 3rd party mappers know what to ignore at all costs when making new maps. *sigh*


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Nathan Hale
post Feb 14 2007, 01:05 AM
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QUOTE(Desertfox @ Feb 13 2007, 05:11 PM) [snapback]28133[/snapback]

Will those house images be used in future BG maps?



I hope so- this post is a guide to making New England or northern American houses and other buildings with a true historical feel.

This listing is not exhaustive, and I'm sure you can find specific examples not listed here. But these are some guides to help mapmakers build historically improved maps.

This post has been edited by Nathan Hale: Feb 14 2007, 01:10 AM


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Jupa
post Feb 14 2007, 02:48 AM
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One major thing that would seriously help mappers, is if there is an avalibility of these house textures. I'm not quite sure about BG2's texture set, but in BG1 I was hard pressed to find accurate textures for my town map.

Another thing I noticed about most BG maps is that the towns usually have very plain or non existant interiors. From playing on my town map with a couple buddies, I can honestly say street fighting with proper house insides can be very fun. Unfortunatly, I'm not quite sure of any major urban AWI battles, so mappers might have to fudge the historical aspects of the map a bit.

Very good guide !

This post has been edited by Jupa: Feb 14 2007, 02:49 AM


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Nathan Hale
post Feb 14 2007, 03:17 AM
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An interesting idea. I think one of those links has a couple interior shots. Your best bet for a simple but accurate interior is:

wood plank floors with a natural wood finish, white plaster walls, color wood trim and sash windows (or natural trim). I know in my house the standard scheme for the rooms is:

walls: white plaster, as are ceilings.
trim: corner boxes, baseboards, window frames, windows are all painted in a certain color. Often blue or green was popular. Doorframes and doors also match the trim color. A faded color effect would probably work here.

http://www.oldecenturycolors.com/milk.html

there is a sample chart of milk-based paints, which were common for regular folks at the time. Oil paints existed, but were VERY expensive. Most regular farmers had milk paints, and most poor folks had nothing.

http://www.behr.com/behrx/inspiration/historical_1.jsp

Behr also has some listings. Take your pick- but remember to make the surfaces a little faded or worn to reflect a working home. Remember- the less affluent usually had earthy tones like whites, off whites, browns, beiges inside. The wealthier could have very loud and bright colors. Mount Vernon in Virginia, for example, has some VERY POWERFUL greens.


Floor: planks, unpainted

Lighting: usually candles in sticks standing, or in globes. Remember candles were the lightbulbs of the time, so they should be a primary source of your lighting inside. The number of candles and candle holders depends on the wealth of the owner. Only the rich had full chandeliers. But even regular folks had sticks about for lighting.

This post has been edited by Nathan Hale: Feb 14 2007, 06:31 PM


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JakeParlay
post Feb 14 2007, 01:24 PM
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What about glass in the windows, did most people have it? Wasn't there some 'wax paper' type stuff for the more common folks?

Also, in the cities and more populated areas, was there any street lighting or outdoor lighting on homes at night? Gas lights weren't around yet, correct?
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Sgt Pepper
post Feb 14 2007, 04:28 PM
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QUOTE(jackx @ Feb 13 2007, 11:28 PM) [snapback]28135[/snapback]

No. All this historical information was posted in the mapping section so that both team and 3rd party mappers know what to ignore at all costs when making new maps. *sigh*


Well, that's what it's like to be a historical advisor..
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Nathan Hale
post Feb 14 2007, 06:37 PM
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QUOTE(JakeParlay @ Feb 14 2007, 08:24 AM) [snapback]28169[/snapback]

What about glass in the windows, did most people have it? Wasn't there some 'wax paper' type stuff for the more common folks?

Also, in the cities and more populated areas, was there any street lighting or outdoor lighting on homes at night? Gas lights weren't around yet, correct?



Most people did have glass- while it could be expensive it usually was used even by middling farmers. But if we're talking a poor shack of a place, you could have missing windows, bits of paper-like stuff (paper too was expensive), even slips of scrap wood in the windows.

I've edited some terms in the above posts to be a bit more precise and stop any confusion about windows. A casement can be used generically for any traditional-type window, but that is actually not the pure usage. The windows we're talking here as technically called a "sash" type window.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sash_window

Wikipedia has a little information on it. But you get the idea.

No real gas lighting: the principle of using gas to burn was known as far back as the early 18th century, but the wide-spread street lamps only appeared in the 19th century. For lighting we're talking candle-lit lanterns usually. In towns, candle-lit outdoor lanterns were actually common on the front of houses and inns in the streets.


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Desertfox
post Feb 14 2007, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE(Nathan Hale @ Feb 14 2007, 02:05 AM) [snapback]28141[/snapback]

QUOTE(Desertfox @ Feb 13 2007, 05:11 PM) [snapback]28133[/snapback]

Will those house images be used in future BG maps?



I hope so- this post is a guide to making New England or northern American houses and other buildings with a true historical feel.

This listing is not exhaustive, and I'm sure you can find specific examples not listed here. But these are some guides to help mapmakers build historically improved maps.


Sounds good man, I really hope so, I would love to see nice buildings in future maps.


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Nathan Hale
post Feb 16 2007, 05:28 AM
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Could someone pin this so that map makers will have easy access to it as a guide? Thanks


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Desertfox
post Feb 16 2007, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE(Nathan Hale @ Feb 16 2007, 06:28 AM) [snapback]28273[/snapback]

Could someone pin this so that map makers will have easy access to it as a guide? Thanks


I agree, this is a VERY helpful thread and should be pinned.


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Sgt Pepper
post Feb 17 2007, 10:26 AM
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Pinned, this is good stuff.

Two questions: You say floorboards were natural wood. What kind of wood? And were the floorboards rectangular or trapezoidal? I know that spruce floor boards used to use the natural tapering of the tree trunk, meaning they had to be laid top to bottom to fit a square room.

Second question is about lighting. You mention candles, and then people think of wax candles. Lovely things, light, clean burning, pleasant smell, but very expensive. Most people would have used candles of animal fats, like tallow, which smoke and smell. What I'm wondering is if they used rush-lights and the like? I can imagine poorer households doing this. For those of you who aren't familiar with rush lights, here is an explanation. Up north, people have used tarry pieces of pine instead.
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JakeParlay
post Feb 17 2007, 02:06 PM
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is torch lighting historically acceptable in certain areas?
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gRanTeLbArT
post Feb 17 2007, 03:45 PM
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we have a lantern model that has some kind of candle inside, you could probably use it


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Nathan Hale
post Feb 17 2007, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE(Sgt Pepper @ Feb 17 2007, 05:26 AM) [snapback]28324[/snapback]

Pinned, this is good stuff.

Two questions: You say floorboards were natural wood. What kind of wood? And were the floorboards rectangular or trapezoidal? I know that spruce floor boards used to use the natural tapering of the tree trunk, meaning they had to be laid top to bottom to fit a square room.

Second question is about lighting. You mention candles, and then people think of wax candles. Lovely things, light, clean burning, pleasant smell, but very expensive. Most people would have used candles of animal fats, like tallow, which smoke and smell. What I'm wondering is if they used rush-lights and the like? I can imagine poorer households doing this. For those of you who aren't familiar with rush lights, here is an explanation. Up north, people have used tarry pieces of pine instead.



Floor boards: these are most usually long rectangular planks. Pine or oak is what I've encountered mostly. I've heard of maple floors, but I don't think they were too common as I haven't encountered them in my travels around up north. Oak makes a far better floorboard material than pine in my opinion, it just wears well. Up north into southern Canada you start to encounter some places that used spruce, seeing as they have many more evergreens up there.

Lighting: yes the pure modern-style wax candles weren't as common as most people think. Fat candles were more common in rural areas. But for our purposes I don't think it would matter much the material of the candle. I don't advise simulating candle smoke in the maps only because of an FPS kill.

Rush lights: welll I've never seen them in person, but here's the thing- the poor people who would've used them vanished and so did their houses (usually). No one has really worked to preserve the shacks of these people so their houses and artifacts are more or less lost to history here. The people who have their houses preserved and opened to the public today are usually wealthier people, or middle class people at the least. So they always had candles anyway. But the bottom line for rush lights I think is- yes, in the right circumstances. If you've got a poor person's rural shack near swamp land in your map a rush light inside would be historically fine.

We'll get into southern stuff in a sep post on Southern Buildings (south of M-D line).

This post has been edited by Nathan Hale: Feb 17 2007, 06:19 PM


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JakeParlay
post Feb 17 2007, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE(gRanTeLbArT @ Feb 17 2007, 10:45 AM) [snapback]28333[/snapback]

we have a lantern model that has some kind of candle inside, you could probably use it


the lantern model is working great.. but that has to be placed on a desk or a table, since the handle is down. i was wondering if a torch or two would be okay as a wall fixture to get some light into a place ... like a church
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klifsnider
post Nov 6 2010, 01:07 AM
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Came here looking for some inspiration for houses in the town of Trenton. Noticed that the first 2 and the last 2 links in the first post no longer work :(.
I was also wondering what the best way would be to build up the town, I'm making this as part of FH's project, and the pictures I find are confusing:
I would find maps of the town where most of the houses are fairly close to eachother but there are also sketches that show only a handful of buildings, scattered all over the place.

Some pictures that I found show massive buildings that were there in the 18th century (or so the website claims), I think these buildings are a bit big for the small town Trenton was during the revolutionary war, and I certainly think that they would look weird in a map.


Should I create buildings like these, or should I stay with small to middle sized houses?

And one last thing, wikipedia says the battle took place at 3 AM on the 26th of december. Is it still dark then? Or is it already dawn? This is quite important for skybox use and lighting.

Hope someone can help me out, even if it's Gouldins.

This post has been edited by klifsnider: Nov 6 2010, 01:09 AM


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Danihel
post Nov 6 2010, 03:14 AM
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QUOTE
Hope someone can help me out, even if it's Gouldins.


Especially if it's Gouldins.
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gRanTeLbArT
post Nov 6 2010, 08:41 AM
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Obviously 3 AM in December is dark as hell. If you ever stayed up to 3 or 2 am in the night you should have known that. I don't know about summer months (and with/without DST?) but 3 AM should be dark night. You could use a skybox with visible stars, the same that is used for nightraid. Or some other dark one, I think we have some for that kind of thing.


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Forlorn_Hope
post Nov 6 2010, 11:23 AM
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That structure is way too big. Stick with small to middling sized buildings. (The houses should be smaller, any public structures would be medium.) As for the attack, you could in fact get away with a dawn approach if you want, because around 3AM Washington was still crossing, as near as I can tell. But whichever makes for a better map, really.


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Nathan Hale
post Nov 6 2010, 07:21 PM
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Stick with small to medium sized buildings for the most part. A town hall or church will likely be your biggest buildings. Most houses should be quite small indeed. A few can be a little bigger (say a tavern or the like). Wood board structures are good, a few brick can be thrown in as well. A big structure like that would be the exception rather than the rule, so avoid them unless you know for a fact the building was present. If you have a unique building that was present and is big, put it in (Chew's house in the Germantown map is a good example-- it's a big building, but then again it was actually present in the battle). But don't throw in big buildings that aren't specific things that were actually there.

Yeah, a few of the links have died. I'll have to dig up some fresh ones.

With Trenton, you'll want lots of snowscape-- the period accounts describe a very cold setting with much snow and ice around.


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Nathan Hale
post Apr 24 2011, 03:37 PM
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Original post has been updated and dead links removed.


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