I love history. I mean, I go through non-fiction history books like people go through toilet paper. (Oh yes, lovely image, I know). And I especially love local history. Learning about the people and events that occurred on the very streets or buildings that I walk on or go into on a daily basis thrill me to no end.
Going to the Mabee Homestead out in Rotterdam Junction a few weekends ago provided such a thrill for me. First off, it’s been on my 101 Things to Do in 1001 list for a while, but second of all, a house from the 1600s? Any history buff would be thrilled.
The Mabee (the name has been spelled so many different ways over the years) Farm Historic Site, as seen above, is the oldest standing home in the Mohawk Valley, at 300+ years old.
We drove out there before realizing that the homestead isn’t opened on weekends after September 30th, but we didn’t let that stop us from wandering around the beautiful grounds.
The house sits on the banks of the Mohawk River.
It had poured for several days before we went and the docks bore the brunt of the storm.
Above us, we saw some parachuters gliding down to the landing field across the river.
We walked around the back of the house.
And checked out the old outhouse.
There’s a couple of animals kept back there. Not very authentic though – one sheep and one goat?
We headed toward the family cemetery.
The cemetery isn’t as old as the house. The first burial here took place in 1771. Before then, the family was buried in Vale Cemetery in Schenectady.
Given the number of people that probably worked on the farm, though, I wonder where the servants and such were buried. Probably somewhere on the property…spooky.
It was a gorgeous day after a rainy week, and we’ll definitely have to come back and get an inside tour of the buildings.
The Mabee Farm Historic Site is open May through the end of September, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment year round.
Tours are by donation, $5 per adult, $4 per senior or child 13-17. Children 12 and under are free.
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