Beyond the homesteadthe dizzy abyss of the forestand the falling snow.
Scents of the Past
tacked to piquant chestnutThree photographsrecall a partylong since over.
In an apple crate,hand-lettered decorationsname the forgotten eventand the date.
Then It smelledof loud music,hot casserole,sweet sweat dabbed discreetly.
Before, for two hundred yearsno party could dislodgethe perfume of ripe applesand ripe sweat.
And earlier still, a prehistoryof forgotten talesand tailsand their particular aromas.
Edgily hollow,restively quiet,a great space eagerto move beyond apples.
A Place to Swing
They resign themselves to slopes beneath andslowly embrace the earth.
They rotate the sky above their heads andmark each year with a ring.
They bend with the wind, change garments with the seasons, andstrive to reach the sun.
Beneath their canopies are places to dally, buttrees are time's watchmen.
How many lifetimes have these ancient maples and these old barns beendancing here?
In 2004, internationally-renowned timberman, Jim Kricker and Peter Sinclair, Editor of the Hudson Vernacular Architecture Newsletter visited the farm, identifying and dating the historic structures on the property. The oldest barn on the farm was originally of Dutch design, (constructed in the early 1700s), one of ten Dutch barns registered in Red Hook. Roman numeral markings, used in pre-revolutionary times, show where structural beams were married. This barn had bays for housing horses and cows, and a center section for storing a carriage. At some point the barn was added on to, the roof was raised and it was moved over a full basement to handle the later orchard.
An English side-entrance barn with a two-story carriage house also graces the property along with a stone summer kitchen with a bees-hive oven, (dating back to the 1700s), and an ice house that was later converted into a stable and a workshop.
Up on the hill behind the barns most of the old orchards are gone, and the old workers quarters are in ruins, and further off some of the land has become subdivisions.