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Past and present

As always, the house is filled with wonderful stories of both past and present.  The last couple of weeks we really felt the house was no longer a building site (although work is still going on).  It started to feel like a house again.  Back to what it was but restored for the next 270 years.  The grounds too have been cleared and we really are starting to see the property restored to it's former glory. 

The view from the porch when we first bought the house was a curtain of vines and vegetation and not a hint of the pond. Now, we have our own screened porch and we were entertaining Cindy Gallop on the 4th July.  As you can see, the view from the porch is very special.

View from the porch  - 2009

View from the porch - Now
Which got me thinking how the rest of the house had changed.  Fundamentally, the footprint and the structure of the house has not changed at all.  We've simplified, stripped out and stripped back to the fundamentals of the house.  The modern divisions of rooms have all been removed and we have restored the center halls, fireplaces, heaths and doorways that had been lost.  Everything else is as it was.. Original doors, floors, windows and hearths.   Here's a quick review of some of the changes.  I hesitate to call it "before and after" because we haven't finished yet...more "then and now".

The first view of the house -August 2009
View of the house  - July 2012
The front lawn was known as "June's Jungle" by the tenants who lived in the house in reference to June Finer's resistance to cutting back nature.

The house was somewhat lost in the jungle - August 2009
The Jungle under control - Now

On the ground floor the biggest difference has been made to the center hall.  We moved the basement stair and restored the east facing doorway.   We removed walls and ceiling to return to a hallway that goes east -west though the house...with a door at each end.  When both doors are open the prevailing winds blow through this hall to keep the house cool.

View towards the front door 2009 - room was divided and full of cupboards

Same view today -  no wall and view to front door.
Drop ceilings removed and beams stripped

Today -  Doorway restored and built-ins removed

East facing door was a window in 2009




















Cole likes the new window...good for watching Chipmunks

Downstairs we changed little structure in the living room and Library.  Cleaned out the ceilings, stripped beams, taken out trim and baseboards.  The fireplace and chimney were totally replaced and both rooms were totally re-plastered.  In the library Josh Finn rebuilt all the shelves and put in beautiful paneled cabinets...all to Daniel's exquisite design.

Library in 2009

Library in 2012
Library Window in 2009
Library Window - Beams stripped
Ceiling removed and floorboards revealed




Living room 2012



Living room in 2009
Living room windows in 2009

Living room windows -today
Living room to library 2009
Living room to library 2012
The corner of the living room in 2009
Same corner -  one less door
Upstairs was totally stripped-out but the bedrooms remained very similar in structure.  We kept all the door frames we could and even used the original plaster lath frames for the new plaster.   Both rooms were totally re-plastered, new ceilings, built in closets and desks removed.  By now everyone knows the story of the Mow door.


Landing in 2009 - Door on left was blocked up to create Master bath
Door frames to guest bath and guest rooms are original
Mow Door original frame was there when we took out the window
Restored to former glory with large plate glass window


Guest room 2 in 2009


Not much change but all new!

















The guest bathroom was carved out of an old office that June used for her medical work.

Same window in the Guest bath
June's office in 2009




















The master bedroom was created out of two bedrooms.  There were so many closets and built-ins upstairs it's difficult to find comparisons. 

Master Bedroom was two rooms - one with a modern floor in 2009

Removed walls, ceilings, replaced modern floors with wide planks etc.etc.

It's amazing to see these side by side.  The house has not changed in some ways and in others is all new.  Still the same house/structure that we fell in love with.  The original features we discovered and restored are front and center.  The house is cleaner, simpler and more like it would have been in the 18th century but it is also contemporary.  It is both museum and modern home yet neither.  Maybe that's why June and Russell called it Paradox farm...

...The vision (Daniel's) is almost realized. 





















Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. A stunning example of what a true labor of love looks like. Well done!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. David Deyo...you left a comment:
    "What happened to the Deyo family ties in American wealth over history it doesn't make sense why the family doesn't control any of its early affairs "

    I wanted to reply but your comment was lost. The Deyo family had the house for over 100 years. In those days women who lived longer than men, inherited homes and re-married...and that's what took this wonderful Deyo house out of the Deyo Family. Rachel Ean married David Deyo but when David died she inherited the house along with her children. Some of this property went to her second husband Abraham Relyea but most of it went to her Deyo children. Slowly these children sold the property back to Abraham Relyea and the 100+ acre farm was sold out of the Deyo family. I have all of the deeds of these sales on the site.

    http://dejouxhouse1740.blogspot.com/2011/11/historic-motherload.html


    From Relyea the property was sold to the Elting family and then to Hudson Valley Estates in last economic depression (1930's)...where it was broken up to pieces and sold in smaller lots.

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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.

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The story of three Marias

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