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A week at the house

Sorry for the delay. Daniel and I spent a whole week at the house and I haven't written about any of the events. Here, in brief, is what is going on.

1) We have spoken to three contractors about the 'removals' stage. This will include removing all of the 1930's closets, kitchen cabinets, the multiple layers of wall 'furring' and the plaster ceilings between the beams which seem to have been put in to hide the heating ducts. The plan is to go back to the ceiling being the reverse side of the wooden floorboards above as seen here in this Huguenot house.

2) Daniel and I cleared the whole north side of the house. There were so many poison ivy vines and bittersweet vines and the old TV antenna pole. This meant cutting down many small trees and clearing some space.

3) Ryan Petit came over with his chain saw and we cut up the tree that blocked the path to the pond. He also cut up the fallen cherry tree, the huge limb of the pine trees on the north side of the house and another unidentified tree that was leaning over and looked like it may fall. The huge locust tree at the top of the 'wall' was also cut up as much as we could. (Ryan is sending someone over while we are away to clean up the wall and clear all the bramble and vines that hide that). We are creating two wood piles for burning as this seems like the best way to get rid of all our wood. We spoke to the New Paltz town and burn piles are allowed so we won't have to pay for a chipper. The big bits of wood are now in the garage drying out ready for our use next year.

4) Trip to the library was very successful to explore the history of the house. They had some really valuable information and a full list of owners of the house since 1739. Seems we can now link Christoffel Deyo and Son David, Abraham Relyea, Jesse Elting, Hiram Minard, George Fiorentino, Arthur Jorgensen, Jane Little and the owner we bought it from June Finer. The house was in one (extended) family from 1739 - 1861 so that explains why so little was done. Given it is nearly 270 years old it is amazing that the we are only the 10th owners.

5) The beavers toppled their second weeping willow. This one was a good foot in diameter so probably at least 20 years old. This meant war. I called in the beaver man who informed me that a) this would happen every year (due to the stream to the river) b) the beavers now had a feed bed for the winter and unless we wanted to clear the pond of this, it was best to leave the beavers there until spring c) it would cost $850 to set the traps and if we did not catch them after 3 visits it would be $250 per set of 3 visits. (Oh and by the way as soon as there is ice they will stay inside and eat the wood they have no chance to catch them). So I wrapped all the remaining willows with thick wire netting and hope that we can protect them until spring. At least next winter I'll have a nice hat and gloves.


  1. I learned about your blog via Google Alerts, which I have set up to email me whenever the words "Huguenot New Paltz" appear in an article, a blog or a website.

    Great blog! And congratulations on buying such a great house! I grew up here and moved back with my partner about ten years ago. Yours is a house that I have always admired and wondered about.

    I'm the Director of Public Programs at Historic Huguenot Street and I also want to thank you for including a photo of the interior of the Bevier-Elting House on your blog. Please let us know if there is anything that we can do to help you as you undertake the restoration of your house.


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