HVVA NEWSLETTER, February 2006
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HVVA Newsletters

HVVA MEETING ........................................................... Maggie MacDontell, Secretary

Saturday, January 21, 2006, The meeting held at the Marbletown firehouse was called to order at 10:45 AM by President, Paul Spencer.

Old business: Paul suggested we pay a computer expert to assist us with producing the newsletter and Web site. We should have E-mail addresses for all members.

New Business: election of officers. Alvin Sheffer nominated Jim Decker for President and Rob Sweeney as Vice President. They were voted in with no objections. Peter Sinclair remains Treasurer and Editor, and Maggie MacDowell as Secretary. Officers are counted as trustees, 25 are allowed 10 to 15 is more workable.

Dennis Tierney reported on the progress of his Staten Island House book, consisting of 68 early photographs from The Historic Richmondtown Collection. The book will include a short article Staten Island Architecture, witten in 1941 by Loring McMillan, pioneer in the development of the Richmondtown. Dennis has verbal approval to use the material and we have begun the final stages of writing captions and getting it ready for the printer.

Wally Wheeler, of Hartgan Archeology Associates, presented the plans for the Dutch Cultural Resource Survey. He has organized the forms for the first two levels of documentation, one a drive-by description and location and the second level a more detailed structural and historical report. The main office of the survey will be at the Mabee Farm Museum in Schenectady County. SHBO, the Farm Museum in The Netherlands at Arnhem, is planning to send two interns to help with the project. They will need volunteers to assist them. The volunteers will need training and a coordinator will be needed. HVVA is co-sponsoring the Survey. Ned Pratt and Keith Cramer are working on a grant application. A discussion was held regarding prioritizing things to include in the Survey.

Several properties were suggested for future visits such as the Weaver House in Rock City, the Squire Nicoll House in New Windsor, The Lem Boce House in Ulster and the Van Heusen House in Hudson. Columbia County that was tentatively set for our next third-Saturday, February 18 meeting. March 18 John Stevens talks at the Ulster County Historical Society and in the afternoon we go to measure and document the Lem Boice House in Ulster, Saturday, April 15, John Stevens is speaking in Albany at the Institute, so we will have to hold our April meeting there.

The following members attended: Jon Boka, Jim Decker, Robert Hedges, Roberta Jeracka, Dough Johnsen, Maggie MacDowell, Karen Markisenis, Betty Mosny, Jonathan Nedbor, Richard Rydant, Alvin Sheffer, Peter Sinclair, George Van Sickle, Paul Spencer, Rob Sweeney, Dennis Tierney, Alvin Wanzer, and Wally Wheeler.
Meeting adjourned at 12:30 and the group left to visit two nearby sites.







Bevier/Newkerk stone house
Town of Wawarsing Ulster County, NY
Half of the stone smoke-hood is exposed in this small side-room in the loft of the original house.

From the Editor... Jim Decker has informed me that the Bevier/Newkerk stone house on the Leuren Kill in the Town of Wawarsing (NY/Uls/Waw/04) (see HWA Newsletter November 1999) has been demolished. We first became aware of this house in 1999 when the owner was restoring it. It was recently sold and torn down. We hope to find out more about the circumstances, were they issued a demolition permit?

The house is described in Helen Reynolds', 1929 book, Dutch Houses in The Hudson Valley. page 185 and in C.G. Mine's book, The Old Mine Road. Hine was an early student of the region's folk-lore. The house was evidently begun in the early 18th century as one-room with a Dutch jambless fireplace. The smoke hood had survived, one of a very few examples of this feature and unique in that the hood was constructed of stone rather than brick. This attested to its isolated frontier setting where brick was unavailable. The house was associated with the Bevier Warwasing Patent of 1705.

A family story from the French-and-Indian War was re-called. Mrs. Bevier was alone in the house, it is said. The doors and windows had been planked over, but six hostile Indians who wanted to get in, climbed up on the roof and were going to go down the chimney. Mrs. Bevier kept a good fire going on the hearth to deter them and they eventually went away. Later her husband, Conrad Bevier, returned home to find her safe. There are a number of accounts of Indian attacks during the French-and-Indian and Revolutionary War in this region, but the Bevier story raises some questions, like, why didn't the Indians go through the roof instead?
What the Indians could not destroy has been accomplished by an unrestrained modern land developer. If you have information on the incident, let us know.

Peter Sinclair, Editor, West Hurley, Ulster County, NY

Angelica, Allegany County, NY, 1808, watercolor by Baroness Hyde de Neuville New-York Historical Society

Angelica was a center for French refugees in the early 19th century. Note the two hay-barracks behind the center chimney house.

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