As you travel along Mill House Road, the Gomez Mill House appears behind a 19th-century stone wall that protects the front yard from the road.
The Gomez Mill House features three distinct sections: a fieldstone blockhouse built in 1716 by Luis Moses Gomez, the original owner; a brick second-story and attic added in 1772 by Wolvert Ecker; and a smaller two-story kitchen wing with white columns built in 1862 by William Henry Armstrong.
The above photograph shows the Gomez Mill House in 1915. Note how much the front of the house still looks the same.
Walking around to the east side of the house, you'll see a unique heart and diamond-shaped Dutch hex symbol within the brickwork. Hex symbols commonly seek a religious protective blessing on the buildings they adorn. This feature was added by Wolvert Ecker in 1772 when he constructed the second story.
The back of the house helps reveal more of the building’s evolution.
The original 1716 Gomez blockhouse abutted a hillside and did not extend as far back as the current ground floor. Gomez's one-room structure was the front half of the current first floor.
Ecker’s 1772 brick addition atop the blockhouse extended twice as far back as the original stone building and rested partly on top of the flattened hillside. The original rear areas of the first floor were initially root cellars dug into the hill from the single-room stone blockhouse.
In 1862, William Henry Armstrong dug a channel in the hillside along the rear of the House and using stone and brick built out the root cellars into livable spaces: the current dining room and library, which you will see on this tour.
Evidence of the elevation of the old hill can be seen in the photograph above from 1924. The original rear door of the House was located on the second floor, as the hill backed right up to the second story prior to 1862. Sometime after this photo was taken, the door was removed.
The Gomez Mill House and the Marlboro Free Library have found historical documents from 1735 and 1790 that indicate pre-1827 construction on the site was potentially done by enslaved Africans. These documents confirm that Luis Moses Gomez used four enslaved people to process lime nearby, and that Wolvert Ecker kept five enslaved persons as part of his household. We hope to learn more about these African people to further interpret their lives and contributions.