Friday, April 10, 2015

This is an 1890's photo of the Ca.1816 Dutch Barn on this site. Most likely built by Peter Elmendorf who own the house at that time.This photo was enhanced or darkened by photoshop. I do show this photo in its original state in an earlier blog. The gentleman in this photo in front of the corn crib is most likely John L. Elmendorf. Notice this Dutch Barn at this time shows a side Isle missing. More investigative work needs to be done on barn to see if this barn was built as shown in this photo. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

New image was found of the Elmendorf house. Dated 1910. This image shows the building before the store window and door change. A few things I have learned from this image is the gable siding has been changed by this photo date. The wooden fence was changed in 1910 to this wire fence. I have a photo with a slightly different angle dated 1909 showing a wooden fence between Elmendorf and VanDeusen.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

This is of three copies I found of the excise tax paid by Petrus Elmendorf to have the Tavern here. Document dated 1824, is the latest one I have. So I at least have a record the the Tavern ran till then. Note; Petrus had to sign that he would not conduct any cock fighting , playing cards or dice, pool playing or any other gaming within the Tavern or any out buildings. Also He paid a $125 back in 1824; a lot of money back then.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Another view of the gable Ca. 1908 photo
Ca. 1900 Photo showing Gable with granary door and siding.
Since my last post, more restoration has gone on at the Half Moon Tavern. The gable weatherboards and Granary door were restored to there original form. The weatherboards were replicated to there true size and beading; given that I had an original piece of the weatherboards. The boards are hand planed with a moulded edge and splined. The wood is soft pine as the originals were. I stained them to simulate the original piece that I have. The originals were removed in the 1930's and were never painted and lasted for almost 200 years unpainted. The stonework was  filled in when they removed the door. Placement of the restored door is in its original location and scaled using old photographs. The little window originally was a tad wider with proper height but I placed this 18th century sash in because it was available. The hoisting beam also is in it original location. At some point this gable pointing will be restored.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Since my last post

Since my last post. Restorations of the Jambless fireplace of the first addition are complete. Plaster as well as the mop boards throughout the room have been restored. Special note are the colors of the room and fireplace. Originally the beams were unpainted as was underside of the floor boards. The first coat of was this mustard color on the beams and the red color on the crown of the hood. The jambs have boards applied to the fronts in a color to match the grey mop boards. Notice the plaster on the the jambs of fireplace were whitewashed with a painted mop board and the back of the fireplace blackened. All of which were restored using the found evidence. I made grey paint to match using white lead and oil to match original color on mop boards. See previous post showing restoration photos.

Friday, June 7, 2013


In June 2011. My friend Bill McMillion made copies of the original sash for me to fit into the old window frames. Here we are fitting the sash into the openings before they were to be glazed with early glass.
Unit 1 is excavated along the lane to cemetery . Notice the pan tile sticking out from the wall. The stones are a Native American hearth feature. The Archeology was done June 2011. Many Pan tile fragments were found in this excavation. My feeling is the pan tile fragment were used as improvement to the roadway bed on the farm lane.  
June of 2011, I found these fragments on the lane to the cemetary. They are pieces of Pan Tile which were like the ones I found the year earlier in the house ( see prev. Blog). They led me to do an Archeological excavation on the lane.

Sunday, May 15, 2011




The casement frame had some work done on the rotten sill. Improper one-by stock had been added to cover the problem sill. In the next few images will show condition of sill and the restoration of the sill to its original form. The sill design was taken from the little leaded window that still exists in the first addition which was a contemporary of this casement.
In This view of the gable is a casement window ( a Bolkozijn window type in dutch). This window now is being restored . Originally this casement was in the front wall of the first addition of the house. When the Elmendorf's chose to add a work room on to the building ( second addition) and to update the first ; this casement was removed and placed in the gable wall. Upon placement in this space, the casement sash were changed from a leaded casement to a wooden mullioned sash retaining the original strap hinges. The window opening would have been also fitted with shutters.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sorry for the delay in my postings. This drawing is a representation of the facade of the Elmendorf homestead as it was first built. The house originally believed built by a land baron Pieter Pieterse Ostrander around 1710. Given the evidence of the pantiles found here ( see earlier post) we were able to determine the the original front and back walls must have had parapets. We have precedent for the inclusion of brick vlechtingen or tumbling in stone gables found here in Hurley in the Corn. Cool house. We believe that this house too must have had a stone gable fitted with brick. The brick were used in this manner to function as a way to seal the parapet wall. Evidence for the granary door placement exists in the center of the wall in the interior. Fragments of window glass were found along the front and back garret floorboards leads us to believe the gables front and back had glazing. Note fitted at the top of the gable is a finial with an iron hoisting crane used to pull the grains to the garret floor for storage.
Drawing done by my Mentor and friend John R. Stevens.

Saturday, April 24, 2010



What is going Here at the Half Moon Tavern. In the past few months the garret has been has been taken back to its original form. The space was divided up into two bed rooms, a hall and an attic space. Plaster and plaster board was removed to expose the rafters and collar ties. The east wall seen here with green wall paper was installed in front of the smoke hood for the jambless. One could not appreciate the size and scale of this chimney. Truly a rare survivor to a once common style of chimney built in our early dutch homes.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This is the garage that replaced the old wagon shed. I believe this is Norman and Peter Palen in the photo.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Well, the old wagon shed doesn't make it. At least we have a record of its existence. Look at the three boys up on the top of this collapsed structure while their grandfather is disassembling the remains for removal.
And this is Ruth. Ruth is Claude and Ethel's fourth child. Ruth is the last Elmendorf to own the homestead. Ruth in 2008 decides to the leave the homestead to my care. Given my background and our friendship, Ruth sells me the homestead.
This is Claude Palen and their three boys; Peter, Willard , and Norman. They are standing along side of Dutch Barn and in back ground shows and early wagon shed. What is holding that barn up? Looks like the corner post may have been knocked out?

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Ethel Elmendorf.Here she is again as a young adult Probably at the time of her announcement of her marriage to Claude G. Palen of Marbletown. She was graduate of Kingston High and New Paltz Normal School. Ethel became a teacher after school on Long Island then later Marbletown school. She had been always active in the Church. Her wedding to Claude took place here at the home of her parents. Because of the illness of her grandmother the ceremony was kept private. For their honeymoon they toured in an automobile to upstate New York.. Upon their return the couple came to live in the Elmendorf Homestead here in Hurley.
Adding some more family history of the house ; This is baby Ethel Elmendorf age 5 months and 3 days. Ethel is the daughter of Peter and Catherine.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This image is of shards of Pantiles that were found along the second floor knee wall ,where a section of the knee wall was removed in the 18Th century. After the second addition of the house was put on the building, the roof was rotated to one common plain. An original gabled fronted urban building took on a new form. This gable now thought to have a stone parapeted wall with the roof covered in pantiles. Upon removal of the roof to rotate the direction of the rafters; some of these tiles fell ,broke and lodged up between the floorboards and the knee wall. Well , the jambless fireplace is starting to take shape. The back wall of the fireplace has had it brown coat of plaster applied to it. It is a mixture of Hurley Brown clay , Lime and straw. The original color found on the hood valance was added to this restored Valance. And the jamb boards received the grey color found on the baseboards . The restoration paint color I made from white lead , linseed oil and a little lamp black.


Friday, February 19, 2010

The new crown moulding applied to the jambless and small window to the left of fireplace. The mouldings were cut out of the solid and are hand planed by a friend of mine; Bill Mc Millen. The profiles of the mould of jambless hood came from were mould bedded into the plaster surface . The moulding profile of the window transom was designed from the crown over a door in the same room which was installed in the room at the same phase of construction. New jamb boards were hand planed and a moulded edge designed after the jamb boards of the DeWindt house. The only other house found to have these early jambs applied to a smokey jambless.

Sunday, February 14, 2010







The first image here shows part of the original drop valance hood. The hood boards restored. In this application the valance hood boards are nailed directly to the hood beam. In other jambless valance hoods an oak batten was nailed to the hood beam which hung the board low enough to catch the smoke from the fire. there was space between the board and the beam. A small moulding applied to back of board and then bricks laid up to the underside of hood beam. Ceiling height plays a role upon which type of application is used. In Elmendorf here this ceiling height is low which is why the valance was nailed directly to the beam. In the next image shows the early jambs which were applied to the smokey jambless were leaning and were very weak. These jambs were then stabilized , shimmed and then reset plumb. These very rare survivors were then fixed to the valance hood and the back wall of fireplace.



An image of the original iron fireback that was used in this jambless fireplace. It is but just a fragment since it has lost approximately 14 inches in height given that the iron hooks which hold the fireback in position are still in the back wall of fireplace. This is my friend Conrad helping me repair the back wall of jambless. Stones were removed to create a smoke shelf for the later firebox which was installed. The next image shows the repair finished . The next step is to point these stones then install the brown scratch coat of plaster.





Friday, January 1, 2010






These three images showing the removal of the plaster to expose early flat brick used to close up the opening.

Thursday, December 31, 2009







The first image is of jambless as I exposed the brick infill showing the deteriorated fire box . The next image is of the fireplace with the brick infill removed leaving real early jambs that were added to the smokey jambless. Also the 18th century cupboard was removed because of evidence of being from another location in the house. the third image is of what remained of the original valance hood which surrounded the jambless opening. To the left of the fireplace once the cupboard was removed we notice a vertical crack in the plaster. This mysterious crack drew my attention to observe with a flashlight. Looking inside the crack I noticed wood inside. Indeed this was a closed up window. Check my next blog to see what develops from my investigation.



Saturday, December 19, 2009




Upon much thought about how I was next going to proceed with the restoration process; I chose to do more investigative work on the fireplace. So I removed the overmantle which appeared to me to be installed ca. 1780-1790 and a beaded board above it which finished the opening to the hood beam. Once I removed the overmantle , I notice that firebox seemed to be infilled between two columns of brick. These columns were made from early flat brick like the brick used in the smoke hood above this. The infilled brick being larger in size and in fact that the infilled firebox was falling forward. It had to come down. Notice on the second photo on this post you can see infilled rubble stone and brick and mortar above the nicely plastered jambs of early brick. This infill above the column of brick was laid up against the back of the corner cupboard. An impression of the backboards of the corner cupboard was evident in the mortar that had laid up against it. It is not know when this corner cupboard was installed up against these early jambs or when this firebox was installed. What is logical is that the two (corner cupboard and firebox) were built at the same time being the third building campaign of this fireplace. My feeling is that the firebox was installed sometime around 1750 and that the later overmantle was again changed sometime before 1800. More on this fireplace in my next post.





In the first addition to the house , a 1 by 3 inch fur floor was removed to expose original wide red pine floor boards. Next I removed the corner cupboard that was installed in the 18Th century up against the fireplace because it was falling forward and some plaster debris was preventing it from sitting correctly on the floor. Upon removal of the cupboard revealed some very important evidence of the jambless fireplace. The profile of the original valance hood crown moulding was exposed. These mouldings were fitted on the valance board and went into the back wall of jambless. The walls were then plastered and around the moulding. When this fireplace was changed ,valence hood and moulding removed , leaving the profile in the plaster. NOW I HAVE A REAL DiLEMMA!????????? What avenue do I take? What period does this get restored to????????