One of Esperanza’s signature features is the use of red roof shingles, everything except one side of the barn’s roof (corrugated metal) and the flat porch roofs (rubber) is done in red, asphalt shingles.  Matching the red is a bit of a job, we never do things the easy way.  But it is much more elegant and interesting than acres (not literally, it just feels that way) of black.

However, earlier roofs varied.  Wood shingles, ideally of cedar but not necessarily, were in use well into the twentieth century.  The 1929 inventory of all the buildings records another, somewhat surprising, interlude.  Most of the barns/outbuildings listed have wood shingles.  A few sections of flat roof were made of tin.  But Esperanza, Minnietrost (one of the small cottages), the farmhouse, the help’s cottage, and Appleby all had paper roofs.*  In the photographs it is apparent that this gave the buildings’ profiles a distinctly raw, unfinished look.  Perhaps more our modern sensibilities, since tar paper was a common roofing material at the time.  Unfortunately, I can’t determine either the color or if it was actually paper or felt that was being used.  I do wonder how long they lasted.  It can’t have been long, since I don’t have, I believe, any other photos that show that…but then I haven’t really looked.

*The farmhouse had been Satis Bene, by the time of the inventory it was no longer given a name, though the other named buildings were.  That half of the property, which included the massive dairy barn, several other barns, a creamery, and the help’s cottage was sold in the 1960’s.  It is now a winery.  Appleby was sold by World War II, it is now in disrepair, but is an elegant c.1800 farmhouse.  At the time it had an apple orchard, hence the name.