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Showing posts from April, 2011

Restored doors and chimney

All of the chimneys at DeJoux House were damaged and unusable.  Daniel met one of the previous owners, Russell Gilmore, at a Huguenot Historic Society event and he was pleased that we were finally making it possible to have an open fireplace in the house.  While they would have had open fires originally, all the chimneys were so damaged that they could only support stoves.

We've researched the various designs of chimneys at Huguenot street and opted for a design that was the same as the one on the Abraham Hasbrouck House, probably the closest match in age and style to DeJoux House.



This weekend we were away but our friend James Rowley and family were visiting New Paltz and popped in to see the house (and have a quick canoe around the pond).   It was great to see the new chimney taking shape.


The salvaged bricks from the old chimneys have been used for the new fireplace in the dining room so we have not lost the authentic, hand made brick shape.  There may be the lingering smell of…

Wow, Mow, Now how (do we put this back together)?

So much has happened in the last two week (and by paradox, so little has happened too...we should be further along!).   Those of you who are following the DeJoux House page on Facebook will have seen some photos but not the story behind them.  The Facebook page is really just a realtime update of events as they happen.

I know it looks like a bomb site but we are doing the final removals before we start rebuilding.

All three of the chimneys have been removed (they were structurally unsound) and we have salvaged the old hand-made bricks to make the firebox of the new fireplace in the living room.   When we arrived at the house on Friday they had started the firebox with the bricks but when we saw it, Daniel nearly cried. Despite strict instructions to use thin grout/mortar of no more than 3/8 of an inch, the bricks were built with some of the mortar measuring 3/4 or even 1inch wide. It looked like a child's drawing of a brick wall.   Daniel called the contractor immediately and they…

Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture - Jan 2011

The latest newsletter of our friends at the HVVA includes a long article on the DeJoux House.   You can download a copy of the newsletter   HERE

As the author says "Why the southern room of the house had no heat source?" is a mystery.  Our recent renovation of that chimney and hearth proves there was no fire place on the south wall originally.  Seems very unusual but the article goes on to say that there have been other examples of this.  The piece also identifies the "spectacular" features of the house: the massive rafters and roof structures and the original doors and windows.  ("Possibly the best" John Stevens has seen -  and believe me he's seen a lot in his time as he is the author of the book on Dutch Vernacualar Architecture in America).

There are a few things that are inaccurate in the article.  Firsty, getting Daniel's name wrong -  "Flebus" rather than Flebut.   Secondy, why the article is titled Christian and Marytje Deyo Hou…

More History

After sending Daniel out with a tape measure for the Smoketree, we have been measuring the trees and the garden so we can map out a garden design.   We had to measure the outside of the house and the measurements reminded me that I have a tax record from 1798 which proves that the house is infact the house labelled D. Deyo in the 1790 map with the road on the East side of the house.

The measurements of the house and the measurements of this record were exactly the same.  The house measure 51 feet North to South and 26 feet East to west.   Interestingly, we still have 6 of the original 7 large windows (the 7th original large, window was taken out when two additional windows were put in the living room).  The long thin windows are above the doors and one is still in place above our front door.  The other long thin window must have been above the other door when there were two doors on the East side of the house.   The two small windows being on the second floor to the north of the house …

NY State Champion American Smoketree at DeJoux House?

Still a little investigation to be done but I think the beautiful, fall foliage tree in the front of our house might actually be one of the oldest and biggest of it's kind in New York State.  
Today, I was chatting with our tree guy, Ryan, who was helping clear some brush and trim our massive weeping willow.  He told me we should be very careful of the tree on the south side of the house as it was an American Smoketree, but one of the biggest he had ever seen.   Readers of the blog will have seen some of the amazing fall foliage of this tree in the photo out of the bedroom window the first night we stayed at the house.


In looking back at my photos there are not many photos of this tree.  You can see it here to the right.

So, anyway, I didn't think too much of it until I got home and thought I would take a look to see if I could find out more.  Turns out the National Champion Tree of it's kind is only a little bigger than our tree.  Standing about 42ft tall and with a trunk…