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Discoveries every weekend

It seems that every week there are new discoveries at Dejoux House.

Now, admittedly that is partly because the property is totally overgrown and we are slowly uncovering things that have been lost to the undergrowth, such as the wells and the walls. We dug up a whole trailer load of red bricks under the spring house. These were marked "LOWE" and it turns out they were 19th Century bricks made in the New Paltz area.

But, there are also natural discoveries every weekend. Last week I stood under one of the flowering willow trees, by the lake, and heard what sounded like a hornets nest close by. I couldn't see one in the tree but could hear the really loud sound of millions of bees. Then I realized that every inch, and every flower on the whole tree had an insect in it/by it. The whole tree was buzzing.

Yesterday we went to look at our handy work to the north of the house. I notice on the ground a row of new growth. When I looked closer it was a clear rectangle of peonies that had obviously once formed the end of a flower garden. These flowers, previously under layers of undergrowth, now busting with life and springing up in Springtown.

After a few hours of work, Daniel and I went to sit by the lake in some new chairs that we bought from Crate and Barrel. Right by us in the lake were 3-4 huge fish basking in the shallow waters. We have tried to identify them but none of the fish on line looked like them. They were about 12-14 inches long and looked a little like a trout, only with a bigger mouth and a thick, dark line down their flanks. There's fishing to be done in our lake.

Daniel worked on the front of the house uncovering some wonderful gooseberry and current bushes between the fruit trees by the road. The fruit trees have been totally neglected and several of them are dead. However, about three of them were in bloom at the outer edges so hopefully pulling off the bittersweet vines will give them extra life. We met Carol Schuster at the Country Inn last night and she gave us the name of a great tree guy who brought her 100 year old pear tree back to life. There may be hope for some of our fruit trees.


  1. Simultaneously swooning & seething with envy as I read this. It's Brideshead Revisited all over again.


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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 …