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Busy week but much progress

This week has been really busy:

1) We chose our contractors to do the first phase of removals. Eight Point Construction really impressed us with the resources and expertise they brought to the project. They start work on Thursday removing all the finishes and unwanted modern fixtures (1930's/40's). They will also remove the wall in the Kitchen so we will get a sense of what it will be like as one room.
2) We visited New Paltz buildings inspector to get our permit. Stacy Delarede the buildings inspector came round to inspect the house and was wonderfully supportive and informative. Really nice to meet someone from the town who takes pleasure in her job and wants to be helpful. She was lovely and will have the permits for us next week.
3) Met with Frank from FJF who is removing the asbestos. We need to do this before the construction starts. He will be at the house Tuesday with tents and negative air fans that will make sure no asbestos dust gets into the air. Immediately after 8 point will rig up the temporary ducts for the heating.
4) We have arranged for the society for the preservation of Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture (Robert Stevens and Robert Sweeney) to visit the house on January 16th. We should be well into the "demo" phase by then so that should give them a good understanding of the structure and will allow us to show them anything we uncover.
5) Our blog has also attracted the attention of Richard Heyl de Ortiz, Director of Public Programs at Historic Huguenot Street. He has offered to help us with our renovation efforts, an offer we are likely to take up. They have an amazing library and historic documentation, especially about the Deyo and Elting families who both lived in the house. The houses (especially the Bevier-Elting house) on the Huguenot Street in New Paltz seem very similar in structure to ours.
6) Allison Rachleff, our friendly neighborhood architectural historian, has agreed to help us document the history and follow up on an apparent documentation with the "Historic American Buildings Survey" inventory in 1967. (The recorder is listed as Mrs Avery Smith, Kingston, yet the property does not seem to be listed anywhere). It was amazing to us to discover that there are only 11 properties in New Paltz on the National Historic Register. This area has a wealth of pre-revolutionary war properties that are not even documented, let alone protected. Allison is going to help us rectify this.


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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 …