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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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DeJoux House to be published

Our house has been watched over the years by a couple, Susan Daley and Steve Gross who create amazing books of old houses and Hudson Valley (each name below is a link to Amazon).  They knew the house and had been watching our progress. As we came close to finishing they reached out and asked if they could photograph the house for a book of cottages:

Catskill Country Style Book, Old Houses, Farm House Revival, Homes With A Past, Gardens of Hudson Valley, Time Wearing Out name but a few.

All of these books are beautifully produced. I can't wait to see our home in one of them later in 2015/16.

I won't reveal all of the amazing photographs that have been taken of our house, you'll have to buy the book to see them all....but here is a little taster.

The story of three Marias

For the first time in a long time I have had a few hours to spare to investigate the relationship between Maria Deyo, the story of the murders on Springtown Road in 1800, DeJoux House and the Deyo family -  especially now I have both the complete family tree and ownership of the house.   

My investigation started with the facts that we knew so far.

1) The document from the Library of congress that documents the murders and the names of the husband (Josiah) and the wife (Maria).   In this news DOCUMENT she is described as killing two children from a previous marriage. Also an infant daughter of 9 months old. (presumably the daughter of Josiah)

2)  The map of 1790 shows the only other Deyo owned house as being owned by C. Dojo

3)  The tax record of 1798  references a stone house, next door to David Deyo's house (Our house) that is "owned by"  Christian Deyo but was being occupied by "Josiah Deyo"  and is described as being "Between the main road and the mou…

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 …