The Galloway House demonstrates the evolution that houses often underwent in the nineteenth century. Around 1846, Selim Newton, a native of New York, built a small dwelling of thick wooden blocks, sheltered by a gabled roof. When, in 1868, Galloway, another New Yorker, bought the property, he enlarged the house, turning Newton’s dwelling into the rear summer kitchen and woodshed, with rooms for servants and for hanging laundry upstairs. The expansion project took twelve years. Thomas Green transformed it into a thirty-room Italian Villa, two-and-a-half stories tall above a raised, quarry-faced stone foundation. Tucked into an ell, a three-story tower rises above the main entrance, its top level pierced by a trio of lancet windows shaded by the wide overhang of a bracketed mansard roof and crowned by a small widow’s walk. West of the tower, French doors open onto a small veranda with slender bentwood arches. A rectangular bay window with richly ornamented arches lights the main block. A second veranda with fluted columns wraps around from the main block to a short side wing, balancing the composition.
Like many houses of the well-to-do in this period, the Galloways’ house had a winter kitchen and a summer or auxiliary kitchen. Although most summer kitchens stood apart from the main house, the Galloways’ is attached. Its zinc-lined pantry stored staples. The adjacent winter kitchen contained a wood stove. The family stored preserved foods in the basement rooms, and a dumbwaiter brought food and ice from the basement up to the second floor. The house’s lavish interior retains its ruby-colored, etched-glass doors, ornately carved pine and walnut woodwork, and delicate stenciling by Jacob Thomsen along the borders of the ceilings and walls in the central hall, library, and parlor. Galloway’s lumber mill produced the interior pine finishes. William Heathcote, a retired church architect and well-known woodworker, supervised the carving of the staircase and exterior details.
Two outbuildings of 1880 survive. A classical-styled gazebo stands northeast of the house. To the southeast is a Gothic Revival carriage house with a cross-gabled roof and a long rear wing, lined by two rows of bull’s-eye windows; it now contains museum exhibits. Whereas the original buildings stood alone, today they are surrounded by other buildings that were brought to the site to create a “pioneer village.”