It is tempting to look only to the large, impressive homes of the Chestnut Street Historic District for evidence of the growth the Delaware and Hudson Canal brought to Kingston, but historic places like Tubby Row are important reminders that most people did not live in such elegance. In 1828, with the completion of the Delaware and Hudson Canal, the small village of Rondout began its role as the canal's Hudson River terminus. In the next few decades, Rondout prospered and grew as the village became one of the major shipment points for coal, shipbuilding, bricks, cement, and the locally quarried bluestone. The Tubby family arrived in the Rondout area in the 1840s, when the village had grown from a tiny hamlet to one with a population of 1500, 200 houses, two churches, six hotels and taverns, 25 businesses, three freight companies, a tobacco factory, four boatyards, and the main offices of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. Although shipping magnates and agents of the Delaware and Hudson built large houses in the Chestnut Street Historic District, the laborers who worked on the docks and shipyards of the Rondout area lived in much smaller residences, many of which still line the streets of the Rondout/ West Strand Historic District. Filling a need for affordable working-class housing, the Tubby family had this Second Empire style rowhouse built in the 1860s, another facet of the wealth and prosperity that the Delaware and Hudson Canal brought to the Rondout area. The building consists of six attached houses, each three bays wide. A patterned slate mansard roof runs the length of the building, and all the windows are adorned with plain stone sills and heavy molded lintels. The building's rear descends one full story, creating a basement level built into the side of the hill. Retaining its original elements, Tubby Row is the only rowhouse of its type and style in the Rondout-West Strand Historic District, an important remnant of Kingston's 19th-century population explosion.
Tubby Row, c. 1890
Photograph courtesy of City Historian Edwin Ford
Rear of Tubby Row
Photograph by John Reinhardt
Tubby Row is located within the Rondout/ West Strand Historic District at the corner of Hone and Spring Streets. The building contains seven private apartments and is not open to the public.