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The house is ours

We now own The DeJoux House on Springtown Road. The previous owner, Dr June Finer, was amazing. She left the house wonderfully clean and left a lot of historic documentation including a map of New Paltz from 1790 which shows the house as one of only 35 houses in New Paltz. There was also a magazine article about how the previous owners put the new roof over the old shingle roof in order to protect the hand hewn beams and original roof . We also found one of the original wooden gutters at the back of the garden.

I also met the neighbor Richard (the Duck man who I met when we first looked at the house). He told us the house had a lot of history and that the road in front of the house was originally called the "Albany Post Road" which was the main road through the area to Albany. Apparently George Washington went daily along the road in front of the house when traveling from his headquarters in Newburgh to visit his armies. Who knows, he could have stopped in for coffee or scones. According to the man in the wine shop we have some really interesting neighbors as well as Richard. A writer next door and a gardener who has written books about gardening just across the road.

There were also new revelations today in the garden. We went down to the pond and explored the spring that feeds the pond. It has a little stone well head around it and the water flows down to the pond. Also, since we last visited some beavers have moved into the pond. They have eaten quite a bit of the willow trees and there is a newly formed little beaver dam at the base of the fallen weeping willow. Not sure they are welcome if they are going to chew down the trees.

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Maria Deyo - a chilling tale

We arrived at the house this weekend to meet with the contractors who had poured concrete in the basement on Friday. When we arrived we found a family standing in front of the house taking pictures. Being the friendly types we are, we went over to chat.

They told us they were on a haunted house tour and were looking at the house because their daughter had been talking about the ghost at our house for the last couple of days. She had bought a book called "Spooky Hudson Valley" and in it was the story of Maria Deyo and a tragic tale of a mother killing all three children and then killing herself.

The family were wonderful and excited to be shown the house. They showed us the book and at the beginning of the story was a picture of our house. The book went on to say that Maria sent the men to the fields and then she slit her daughter's throat and the throat of her other two children...then killed herself. All this happened on September 13th 1801. There was ref…

Paradox farm

If you wander along Springtown Road, past DeJoux House, you will see our mailbox opposite the front door.  It's not especially distinguishable except it is rather large and sits on an old tree stump.  It's a rusty old thing but it seems to have survived the snow plows and drunk drivers of Springtown Road.

It has always bothered me that on the side of the mail box you can see the vague outline of the words "Paradox Farm" which was clearly a name that DeJoux House was more recently referred to.  Occasionally when wondering the fields I would stumble across some incongruity and wonder if that was indeed the "paradox" that the farm was named after.

Yesterday morning, for some unknown reason, I decided it was time to resolve the paradox.  I sent a quick email to the previous owner June Finer to see if she knew anything of the Paradox Farm ghost on the side of the mailbox.

This was her reply:

once upon a time we, (myself and russell gilmore---my ex), met a rather …

Murder investigations

I have found a record of the murders that clearly identify the deaths to be Maria Terwilliger Hofman Deyo, wife of Josiah Deyo. Here in another document found at the Library of Congress. While the document states the 6th and the records of death state the 13th, this is clearly the same event. (I must say I love the image at the top of this piece that shows the 4 different sized coffins).



HOR??D MURDER and SUICIDE.A Narrative of one of the most Shocking and Logical Catastrophes, that ever blackened the Catalogue of human events, which happened the 6th September, 1801, at a place called Paliz 14 miles from Poughkeepsie, State of New-York.THE wife of Mr. Josiah Deo a woman of exemplary character as to piety, modesty and sensibility, rose in the morning and went about the ordinary business of her family, getting breakfast, &c with all her apparent cheerfulness and composure. After breakfast, she con??ved to send out all her family, excepting three Children, which she had design…