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Retrospective

Daniel pointed out that we are entering our third Christmas at DeJoux house.  One good thing with the blog is that it gives you a perspective on how far things have actually come.

The house we bought in November 2009
Two years ago the house was totally overgrown and the vines grew over the house

The vines and still to be discovered Mow Door
The property was impenetrable and even walking around the house was difficult.   The view from the porch and to the north of the house gave the best sense of "June's Jungle" as the tenants used to call it.

The view from the porch towards the lake - we still didn't know how big the lake was.
North of the house - where my kitchen garden is now.
So this was how we entered our first Christmas...beating back the jungle.  I started on the north of the house. The second week of December was our first week at the house.  We discovered a beaver had made his home in the pond and was eating his way through our Willow trees.   That was our first challenge...getting rid of the beaver.   The history started finding us the first week we were at the house.  We found a huge amount of information at the Library in New Paltz including the map of the area and the date the house was built 1739-40.

So what happened a year ago - 2010/11?

Well, last year we had finished with the removals and the first round of work and were waiting for our contractors  Eight point (who were really great) to be available to begin the main construction.  We spend the winter by the pond and in the snow but over the holidays we were in England and did not update the blog: January 2011 post

This picture was taken January 8th 2011
We had heavy snow in January and Daniel and I had received snow shoes from Jack and Janet for Christmas.  We had not started the construction work as we were waiting for the contractors to be available.  The main construction did not start until March/April.  From the photo above you can see that we still had the rotting dormers and the back door was still a window.   There were still three chimney and the north of the house was still a little overgrown with the big metal aerial still leaning against the house.

We really have done a lot of work in the year.  We've reconfigured the whole house.  Re-wired and re-plumbed it -  making all the beams and infrastructure solid.  We've put in the conduits for the new 400 amp electrical service and the generator line.

The service superhighway
We lost a basement window but got all modern conveniences
We have new chimneys for the AGA and the center hall stove as well as an all new fireplace in the living room.  (We could not have had an open fire in the original chimney). And, as of the last two weeks, we have a patched floor, all new dormers and we are almost ready to seal up the walls.   (unfortunately we still don't have that huge hole in the floor resolved but that's another story!).

The new dormers
We are in the city this weekend for a number of holiday parties so will not be up at the house.  But things are moving well since Neil started working on the house.    IT WILL BE DONE.









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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 Memory...to 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.





























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 …

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…