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Weekend of history

This weekend was full of adventure. It's late and we just got back but I want to capture it all before I go to work tomorrow and forget it.

First, we arrived at the house and were welcomed by the Parise family. They had been reading the blog and heard that our house was not the haunted house they had been led to believe it was. It was great to see them and Laura gave us a DVD of the pictures she took. I can't post them all here but I have picked out some of the best:

We then went on a tour of Huguenot Street and met Eric Roth the Executive Director who showed us around the Historic Houses...(that will have to be a post another time)...and he took us into the Archive to see the Elegy of Maria Deyo. This was the original published version of the poem and was incredibly delicate. We took photos and left.

We had read about a talk on Springtown Road ("The other Huguenot street") that evening and although we had already had our fill of history, we pushed ourselves to attend. Turned out it was a DeJoux House reunion. John Stevens and his colleague from the HVVA were there. John told us he had finished his drawing of our house and would be publishing it soon. Frank, Milena, Laura & Julia Parise (the above photographer) were also there. Behind us sat Lee the neighbor who had given us the wonderful map of all our trees....not to mention all the other neighbors who were there who we didn't really get a chance to talk to, but will look out for.

I have to say a big thank you to Richard Heyl de Ortiz who is the Huguenot Street Director of Marketing and Community Relations (and also commenter on this blog). He not only showed our house in his presentation but also promoted the blog as a great way to see what is happening with the renovations. The talk was excellent and really gave a good history of Springtown over the years. A wonderful history the road has. Almost richer than Huguenot Street because of the farming, then the boarding houses and the rail roads. It caused me to go back to the Deyo family tree, the deeds and documents of the house and work out exactly who was in the house and when. This will be the subject of another entry but we almost have a complete history that is supported by documents and records. DeJoux House links many families, not just Deyo. Ean, Relyea, Elting, Minard, Dubois, Freer, Fiorentino, Tshirky, Little and Finer , all connected by our beautiful pile of sticks and stones.

Which reminds me, we were asked at the event how the renovations were going. Well, this week we finished the concrete slab in the basement. It already feels drier in there (although I suspect the purist historians will object a little!).

In other news, Daniel and I took the new canoe out on the Wallkill River. Springtown Road is even more beautiful from that vantage. We paddled up to the Tshirky place in Bonticoe. There is an amazing view of what we think is the other Deyo House (B. or W. Deyo based on the 1790 map...this is a high quality scan of the 1790 map for R.HdO). On the river you also go past the 1755 stone house with the historic marker on Springtown Road. Both houses are beautiful and very visible from the river while hidden from the roads. I am so surprised that there are so few people out on the water. There is hardly a current and it is an easy paddle. The Wallkill was once the main highway of the area is now deserted and even more beautiful than ever. See you on the river!!!


  1. Willian and Daniel;

    Thank you both for your kind words. Laura is very proud that you have posted her photos on your blog. She is currently a student at SUNY New Paltz and has been telling her teachers about your house and the restoration.
    Stay well and we will continue to follow your blog with great interest.

    Frank Parise

  2. William --

    It's been very busy at HHS and I didn't have a moment to check your blog until now. Thanks for the props. The cellar looks great. The same thing was done about 50 years ago with part of our cellar and it makes it usable.

    Thanks also for the map! This is great.

    Finally, you are right about how different and wonderful things are from the water. You remind me that I need to get my kayak out and get on the river!



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