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Mebie House

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[This information is from p. 132 of A History of the Schenectady Patent in the Dutch and English Times; being contributions toward a history of the lower Mohawk Valley by Jonathan Pearson, A. M. and others, edited by J. W. MacMurray, A. M., U. S. A. (Albany, NY: J. Munsell's Sons, Printers, 1883). It is in the Schenectady Collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at Schdy R 974.744 P36, and copies are also available for borrowing.]

[Copies of this book are available from the Schenectady County Historical Society.]

Mebie House

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"The Mebee house is doubtless the oldest house in the Mohawk valley, if not in the State of New York."

"It was in existence in 1706, the year that Jan Mebee purchased a portion of the Third flat from Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen. Its walls are of heavy stones, drawn from the neighboring mountain side, laid up without mortar but with joints pointed on outside and plastered inside. The roof is in the pointed gable style so easy to build and so common in the early settlements in New Netherlands. The principal door is at the east end. It is ancient as the heavy iron hinges and latch and its construction indicate. It is in two parts common to old Dutch doors which were said to let the light in while the pigs were kept out."

"The window frames are heavy timbers and the sashes are of the strong hand-made kind with very heavy sash bars holding quite small glass."

"The interior consists of a first and second floor and attic space in the peak of the roof, being floored on the "hammer beams." This attic having doubtless been in frequent use as a spy loft during the Indian wars which the old house has seen."

"The ceiling of the lower story is formed by the planed underside of the second floor — this and the heavy joints are discolored by age but are polished by careful rubbing for nearly two centuries."

"The house is situated on a bluff at the edge of the Mohawk and at the concave side of a bend commanding a view of the river for a considerable distance in either direction."

"It is the writer's belief that this house, at least its stone walls, date from 1670-80 when Daniel Janse Van Antwerp occupied and received a patent for the land in the centre of which it stands."

"Other buildings have been added near to it (within a few yards) to suit present needs and there have been rumors that the old house is to give place to a more modern and convenient structure. In view of the fact that a brick or stone wing across the end would connect the detached brick building and afford increased space with all modern conveniences and yet preserve unaltered this old hofstede to the Mebee family, and a time honored land mark in the Mohawk valley — its destruction would be regretted."

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