If These Walls Could Talk: It’s Old House Week!

  |  August 24, 2015
1375 hurley mtn rd hurley ny

1375 Hurley Mountain Road, Hurley

My love of old houses blossomed when I moved to upstate New York. When I was growing up, I lived in various places around Alaska, including a suburb just outside of Anchorage, where buildings and homes are seldom older than the 1950s or 60s (the Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 had a bit to do with that, along with Alaska’s status as a relatively young state). While there are plenty of things I miss about Alaska, architectural aesthetics isn’t one of them, so imagine my delight upon moving the Hudson Valley back in 2000 and discovering a place where the history of the state and the very nation existed on every corner in every town.

Abraham_Hasbrouck_House by daniel case

Abraham Hasbrouck House, New Paltz, by Daniel Case

Stone houses that date back to the 1700s are a particular favorite of mine, given my love of wandering around historic sites and museums. “If these walls could talk” is a common refrain in real estate parlance, but I’m genuinely interested in the events that took place not only inside of these houses, but in the areas in which they reside. Some walls could talk at length about winter hardships in the cold climes of upstate New York. Some walls could talk about the families who built these stone houses, stacking stone upon stone with bare hands, without the conveniences of power tools. Some walls could talk about the Revolutionary War raging practically just outside the front door. They could talk of loss, birth, warmth, our country’s fight for freedom. The walls of these old houses could talk at length about anything and everything, and I will listen intently, ears pressed to them, straining to hear every whispered word.

Let’s listen to the walls talk together this week, as we explore the old houses of the Hudson Valley and Catskills. Stay tuned….

About Kandy Harris

Kandy is a writer and musician/music teacher living in Saugerties, NY.

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