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HVVA Newsletters


Saturday, February 6, 2003 with Hank Ziegler, we traced the date stone and measured the cellar level of the 1792 Conyes/Lindquist stone house (Uls-Sau 34) in Saugerties. It seems to have originally been a two-room house with end-wall jamb fireplaces and a cellar kitchen. The two rooms measure 22-feet wide by 14' 3" and 15' deep. Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist have owned this property on the Vly Kill for 32-years.

Ken has done a lot of work on the house and taken care to preserve original material. He can recall changes he made. His most major repair was to pull and push back the upper half of the back stone wall that he feels was caused by the spread of the rafters that had no collar ties. The rafters could be 18th century, they are hewn and pinned at the peek.

The cellar kitchen floor was originally dirt with rotten sleepers and boards. Ken removed 8-inches of dirt and poured a slab on which to rest new sleepers and wood floor. There were a number of out buildings in poor shape when they got the property. The cider press was given to Bethpage Village on Long Island. Circa 1840 seems the date of the fireplace and balloon-frame summer kitchen addition in which the 8 exposed 4 x 6 beams run longitudinally.

Mary Lindquist searched the deeds when they first got the house and worked out some of the families and the property's ownership. She also gained information from neighbors. Mary is gathering more information and we intend to return to take more measurements for drawings.

Saturday, February 15

HVVA met at the _/Sherman Farm (Col-Ghe-4) in Ghent, NY to see a group of barns. Alvin Sheffer, Alvin Wanzer, Bob Eurich, Sally Light, Paul Spencer, and Jim Decker braved the cold February weather to see if one of the barns was of New World Dutch Influence. The barn had started life The tree in the center of the photograph is a as a four-bay square-rule Dutch barn, which later red cedar thought to be the second oldest was enlarged with the ridge turned and anglicized. We found a barrack plate, some early reused rafters and evidence of a manger. On the outside of the barn, on the south side wall, it appears the placement of the double door; the human door and two animal doors were kept in the original placement from the Dutch barn gable end. This barn will have to be further studied and documented in warmer weather. In front of that Dutch barn is a 19th century horse barn complete with its original horse stalls. Each stall had shoots that allowed feed to be dropped from the mow above. In front of the stalls, under a hatch in the floor was another convenience, a stone lined hand dug well. Mr. and Mrs. Sherman invited us in out of the cold for a cup of coffee and some home made lemon cake. It was thankfully received after being out in that bitter wind. Mr. Sherman asked us to look at the cellar fireplace in the basement of what he believed was the original house. The fireplace chimney was unusually placed in the center of the room with a closet board door to the left with Hand L hinges. A large door, leading into another basement, was noted to have wonderful Dutch pad-hinges. Sally and I concluded that this portion of the house was probably the kitchen wing to the main house. We also noted that the string of stairs had been moved. Behind the house were an early 19th century carriage barn and a stone smoke-house. We all concluded it best to document the Sherman Farm site at a later and warmer date. Jim Decker

Saturday, February 22 to Wawarsing to see _/Siegel (Uls-Waw-8), the farm of Michael Siegel and Barbara Caldwell. The frame house and the earliest barn in a complex date to about 1870. The new owners of this farm, in a very historic region of the Rondout Valley with views of the Shawangunk Mountains to the south, have begun a garden business called Farm & Granary. Their spring selection of six heirloom tomato plants and two heirloom pepper plants,(*) if ordered before March 31 will be delivered on the following Memorial day. In the future they are planning to add supplies for controlled growing of mushrooms in the woods. Farm & Granary, 80 Deer Run Lane, Box 373, Wawarsing, NY 12489; (845) 634-9577 fax (845) 634-9578; www.farmandgranary.com. (*) heirloom plants are open pollinating and so you obtain them only once. Unlike hybrid plants, their seeds can be planted again next year.

Thursday. February 27 with Alvin Sheffer to see the circa 1760 frame. house known as the Willows. We met with Liz LoGiudice, Education Coordinator for the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District (GCSWCD). It is located on Route 385 in the Town of Athens, Greene County, NY. This large center-hall house is built on a high hill overlooking the Hudson River. It faces the river on the east and from its double-Dutch false-panel front door there is a panorama of the Valley that stretches for many miles. The house and 65-acres of river frontage land with fields and woods were acquired in December 2002 by Scenic Hudson, a not-for-profit organization, to preserve the site as a publicly accessible nature preserve and has contracted GCSWCD, a county funded program, to manage it.

In the two months that Liz LoGiudice has been working at the Willows, preparing for next summer's educational program, she has been studying its natural environment and researching the historic background of the farm at the Vedder Library in nearby Coxsackie. She wrote in the Greene County Daily Mail recently,

The property purchased by Scenic Hudson includes Brandow Point, a spit of land that juts into the river and can be seen on any Hudson River navigational chart. A bay to the south of Brandow point contains a significant amount of submerged aquatic vegetation and is an important habitat for waterfowl. This bay borders the northern end of the Cohotate Preserve.

The property is a mix of forested ravines and successional agricultural fields. This mix of fields and forest creates wonderful habitat for a large variety of wildlife. We plan to mow the fields to maintain the grassland habitat, rather than allow it to grow into forest. This strategy will benefit grassland birds and will maintain the view of the river from Route 385.

The farm was owned by the Brandow family for nearly 200 years being purchased by William Brandow from Annake Witbeck in the late 1700s. There is evidence that William's father Johannes had leased the property for a number of years prior to the purchase. The Brandow, family came to the Hudson Valley with the 1710 Palatine German immigration.

Our initial observations of the two-room center-hall house seemed to confirm the estimated 1760 date. The house is structurally sound and there is a great deal of original fabric. The features that appear pre-Revolutionary are the steep pitch of the roof, the use of gouge-cut marriage-marks on one exposed exterior area of the frame, also the designs of paneling, stairs and moldings.

The Willows is a relatively large and stylish Hudson Valley Dutch Georgian house that has adopted a shallow English fireplace but maintained a Dutch H-bent frame with exposed anchorbeams graduated to serve new functions. The traditional 4-bay Dutch room has been expanded to S-bays and what would have been the massive hood beam at the end wall, supporting the brick smoke hood of the Dutch jambless fireplace, is now one of the two lighter beams and the heavy beam is located nearer the center of the room to support the loft floor. Despite the increase in bays, the rooms maintain their Dutch proportions, wider, 20' 5", than deep, 17' 6" and 17' 4".

The cellar is divided into a cold storage room to the north with roughhewn beams and a cellar kitchen to the south with finished beams and an exterior door. The cellar fireplace seems intact but covered. The ceiling of the main floor measures 8' 2.5" and the center hall and north parlor have paneled wainscot both expressing the prosperous condition of the Bradow family in the 18th century. Both exterior Dutch doors into the center hall have transom windows above them. in addition, the front entrance has long windows to the side of the door, evidently original but a feature more often associated with the Federal, and Greek Revival of the 19th century.

For further information about The Willows check their web-site <www.gcswcd.com> or contact Liz LoGiudice, (518) 622-3620.

Friday, March 7 met with Elane Schoonmaker Genthner at the Schoonmaker stone house (Uls-Sau-35) (*) on Main Street. In a few hours we explored, took notes, copied photographs and made preliminary inside measurements of the house and its addition. Along with the 1727 Kierstead house, presently owned by the Saugerties Historical Society, the 1727 Schoonmaker house is one of the most prominent early buildings in the village of Saugerties.

The Schoonmaker family came to the Esopus Valley of Ulster County from Albany. Hendrick Jochemseu Shomaker was baptized in Hamburg, Germany in 1624. What his cultural ties were I wouldn't guess but he came to America, probably in his late 20s and in 1663, at age 36, married Elsie Janse VanBecsted, who was born in Denmark. This is all taken from one of the many Schoonmaker genealogy books Elane keeps in the house. She also recalls family stories her father and relatives told her. She was born and has lived in the house all her life. The house will be inherited by her daughter.

Elane's father said that the house was built in 1727, as the "P x P x S x 1727" date stone and the size and arrangement of beams suggests. He said that the stone house replaced a log house that had been burned by the Indians. He said that the local Indians who lived in the hills to the north came here for salt or sugar and were friendly. Their chief is buried under the large maple tree in the front yard. Elane's uncle said that the Indian was buried under a stone closer to the road but she prefers to believe her father.

A cast iron historic marker placed by the state in 1936 reads,


The original two-room 7-bay stone house with Dutch jambless fireplaces on the end-walls, faces sunwise, south. Elane's father worried about the slight bulge in the west end-wall but his friend Mr. Remensneider, assured him it was safe. The two-room stone addition was made in perhaps 1840. There is an original condition finished room in the unfinished loft above it. We did not get time to examine the detached stone summer kitchen that I recall has a hooded fireplace with original trammel chain.

The house contains some early family furniture such as a gum-wood kas and a tall clock made by Eli Terry for Levi and E. Porter of Waterbury, Connecticut, August 1808. There is also a powder horn and a collection of bottles gotten from the dug well behind the house.
(*) see Hellen Reynolds, Dutch Houses, plate 84


THE PALATINE FARMSTEAD, RHINEBECK, DUTCHESS COUNTY: Every Wednesday and the first Saturday of the month have been work-days this winter for the Palatine Farm Committee, Wearing many layers and types of clothing, hats and bonnets, the group of local volunteers has been shoveling snow, hauling away unburnables and burning wood scrap in the field north of the barn. Inside the house, using portable heaters, gloves and dust masks, we have been slowly removing and documenting the artifacts and interior layers of this small wood-frame building trying to understand the changes that were made to it over its 250 year life.

It was determined early on that only the cellar of the circa 1740 frame house and a number of its re-used parts survive and that the main two-room center-hall house was erected in circa 1790-1800 at the same time as the two frames that formed the back aisle. It is in this back aisle or lean-to that the most effort has been made to uncover changes. Much of what has been uncovered helps explain them but other elements raise questions and contradict assumptions. It is hoped that dendrochronology, the dating of trees using core samples, of a dozed timbers will eventual1y give us some firm dates.

THE 1810 HOUSE IN HURLEY, ULSTER COUNTY The small abandoned and deteriorating frame house in the historic district of the Village of Hurley that was about to be demolished by the town because the owner had not been answering letters sent by the town's code enforcer, (*) has been saved by a Local farm family. Barbara Paul and her son Michael were able to find and met with the 89-year old owner, Alice Ahearn, by driving to Long Island. The Paul's plant good feelings and farm sweet corn in the Esopus flats and live in the 1720 Matthew TenEyck stone house (**).

The Pauls purchased the vil1age house and al1 of its contents from Alice except for a brass bed which she had promised to the Rev. Charles Stickley, pastor of the nearby Hurley Dutch Reformed Church. Barbara Paul, the new owner said, "We decided to buy it because we didn't want to see it torn down. I also believe that, for Alice, selling the house - it is no longer a burden to her."

Alice Ahern's mother inherited the small frame house from the Maxom family and Barbara Paul wants the house known as the Maxom house. She is planning to maintain its historic colors, yellow with white trim.

(*) see from the Editor in the last HVVA Newsletter.
(**) H. W. Reynolds Dutch Houses, plate 90, this landmark building is located on the Praymaker/Preuwamackan Kill that originates in Zen/Wag and converges at the Forks of the Praymaeker just below the Madden house (Bulls TK-I) in Stony Hollow.

THE CIRCA 1730 WINNE II HOUSE, BETHLEHEM, ALABANY COUNTY It has just been announced that this 2-room center chimney frame house that was discovered in 2001 just up the road from the circa 1720 Winne/Crebel house, now undergoing restoration(*), has been dismantled and wil1 be reconstructed in the American wing of The Metropolitan Museum. The house was on a site that is scheduled for development.

The two Winnie houses in the Town of Bethlehem make a fascinating comparison showing the gradual changes that were taking place in the vernacular architecture of area. A description of the Winne II house with some more and larger drawings wil1 be included in the next newsletter.

From the Editor:

The Wynkoop house in Saugerties, Ulster County, that has been threatened with destruction by its new owner (see previous issue of the HVVA Newsletter) has aroused public interest here and is a frequent topic in the local newspapers. The Saugerties Times reports that the town has issued the owner another stop work order and has refuses to give him a demolition permit, but confesses that if he disregards the ban and bulldozes this 18th Century Hudson Valley Dutch stone house, listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places, and loved by the people of Saugerties, his fine would not exceed $250.

In the meantime the new owner of the 1740-1790 Wynkoop stone house has published a long chapter-one of his life story and philosophy in the Saugerties Post and has logged the trees from the property. Meanwhile, he has brought in 50 loads of crushed rock to build a parking lot and to protect the two archaeological sites there. He now includes a baby-barn sales-yard as well as his young son's medical center in his stated purpose for the two-and-one-half-acre parcel just off the southbound ramp of exit #20 on the State Thruway, a place rapidly growing with fast food and gasoline, used cars and mini-storage.

The chairman of the Saugerties Planning Board received a letter from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (ORPHP) in January, stating that, "the proposed project does not fall under jurisdiction of either state or federal preservation law at this time, but the involvement of a National Register listed property clearly indicates that any development of this property would constitute a type I action under SEQRA."

A new law is being formulated by the town lawyer to amend a 1989 zoning law, "to prevent destruction of any of these resources until our comprehensive plan, zoning law, and site plan review can be updated to reflect a process for considering historic preservation." Registration of the historic sites of Saugerties is being suggested by some as it was when the town's law was enacted 14-years ago.

On Tuesday, February 11, there was a meeting of about 20 people in Saugerties to discuss what can be done to save the Wynkoop house. There did not seem to be much except $495,000, and pronto. A lawyer at the meeting suggested we hire a lawyer and a representative of the elected town government, who just happened to stop by, expressed some of the public sentiment that is not sympathetic with the hand full of sad-faced preservationist who should have been on their guard and gotten there before the present owner.

The woman to my left suggested we attend the next zoning board meeting where the present owner will have to reveal his true intentions. She urged us to bring our friends and show our numbers. We were reminded, by several people, that emotional demonstrations and noise would not win the fight but were assured that a Saugerties mob is respectful.

I proposed that we find a secure and public space in the Village or Town of Saugerties and establish a 2-year Material Culture Project there in which we register sites, document and collect artifacts, organize the information and make it available. That such a project would encourage the cooperation of an interested public and if it could not help establish legal methods to save the next historic building from the bulldozer, it would at least preserve an accurate record of it. I propose that anyone interested in the idea meet at 10AM Saturday; March 22 at the Kierstead house, on Main Street, Saugerties, and talk about it.

Peter Sinclair, Editor; West Hurley, NY; (845) 338-0257; <hvvernar@netstep.net>

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