Hop houses in Otsego County, New York

LaDuke, John (2015) Hop houses in Otsego County, New York. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This master's thesis is an examination of the hop house as it exists within Otsego County, New York. A hop house is an outbuilding type used in the drying and processing of hops. Research is based on a survey of fifty two hop houses within Otsego County, supplemented primarily by archival research conducted at the New York State Historical Association. There are five subjects covered within this thesis. The first is a history of hops cultivation in Upstate New York. The second part reviews the forms and functions of the hop house. The three main forms are common, step-up common, and draft pyramidal. The third examines the distribution and patters of hop houses within Otsego County by utilizing profiles from the survey. The concentration of hop houses is found to be highest in the fertile valleys that have easy access to the former location of the Great Western Turnpike. It is also found that the conservative nature of hop houses in Otsego County can be attributed to small scale farms and production peaking before major technological change occurred. The fourth covers folklore and material culture associated with hops cultivation. This includes crop prediction lore, courting customs, and the various specialized tools used during picking and processing. The final subject examines and proposes solutions for the subject of hop house deterioration. The specialized use of hop houses makes them prone to neglect. This thesis recommends that a new or current organization take advantage of the current craft beer boom to bring attention to hop houses. It also proposes forming a closer relationship with owners in preserving hop houses.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11564
Item ID: 11564
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 127-133).
Keywords: Hops, Vernacular Architecture, Folklore, Barn, New York, Agriculture, Kiln, Otsego County
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: October 2015
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: New York (State)--Otsego County
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Hops industry--New York (State)--Otsego County; Outbuildings--New York (State)--Otsego County; Otsego County (N.Y.)--History; Otsego County (N.Y.)--Folklore

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