Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quadricentennial - The Hudson Valley marks historic 1609 voyage

Here in the Hudson Valley it's an auspicious time to be in an early Dutch-American house. This year marks the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage in 1609, sponsored by the Dutch East India Company, when he discovered the river that now bears his name. He sailed across the Atlantic and up the river in "de Halve Maen" as far as present day Albany looking for a western route from Europe to China and India. Although Hudson was English, he was sailing for the Dutch, so his discovery laid the foundation for a claim by them on this area of North America. He was followed by Dutch explorers and merchants, who established New Amsterdam on Manhattan around 1625, spreading out from there into the Hudson Valley and across to the Connecticut and Delaware Rivers. The English took control of the the New Netherlands in 1664 but the Dutch influence here lasted well into the 18th Century. We are very lucky to live and work in a house that exemplifies this influence today, and to be in a position to share it with guests in this quadricentenial celebration year.

For an extensive list of some of the signature events taking place up and down the Hudson Valley this year, along with listings for museums and historic sites hosting related exhibits try http://www.exploreny400.com/, or http://www.hudson400.com/.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mistress and Maid

At last the final touches have been added to the Mistress and Maid room and we've had our first visitors staying there. Perhaps what took the longest was the hand-made quilt which Nadia had fun with over the winter (there are great quilting shops nearby in Woodstock and Kingston). The room has a Scandinavian feel, with a small hand painted armoire, white bed and pale rug on the original painted wide-plank floor boards. There is a c. 1810 mahogany reeded leg Pembroke table and the final element was a grained white Swedish Queen Anne style chair that we picked up last week in nearby Hudson - a great place to find furniture with over 70 antique shops.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


The wonderful and talented Cincinnati based duo Ellery came to stay this last night. Ellery is comprised of husband-wife team Tasha and Justin Golden, who released their debut record as Ellery in 2006. Reviews have identified Ellery's dynamic indie-pop style as "emotionally-charged:" the sound, the lyrics, and the live presentation. Not surprisingly, Ellery's songs tend to feel personal to - or even possessed by - their fans, often from the first listen. They were visiting Kingston to talk with Grammy-winning producer Malcolm Burn, at his studio there, where they will be recording their new record in June. Malcolm has worked with the likes of Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Kaki King, Rachel Yamagata, Gillian Welch, Ryan Adams, Iggy Pop, and more.
Ellery said they chose to stay here at The Stone House because the aesthetics of the Dutch American architecture and the decor appealed to their sensibility. They enjoyed a well deserved rest from their non-stop touring and took some of their huge breakfast with them back on the road. They are featuring The Stone House in their Ellery Stimulus plan to get the record made. We wish them every success. http://www.myspace.com/ellerymusic .

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hudson and Claverack

Today we went to see the Jan Van Hoesen House between Hudson and Claverack, New York, about 30 minutes drive. The Van Hoesen House is a circa 1730 Dutch American house built principally of brick which was identified by the Preservation League of New York State as one of "Seven to Save" endagered properties for 2009. You can find out more about the house here: http://www.vanhoesenhouse.org/ . It's interesting to see a house like ours which basically hasn't been touched since the 19th century. These Dutch American houses derive from building styles and methods brought over by the early Dutch settlers who built them up and down the Hudson Valley.
The village of Claverack has many fine houses and nearby Hudson is famous for the more than 70 antique shops on Warren Street, its thriving Arts scene and nightlife. In one of the antique shops we were lucky enough to find a Gustavian style chair from Sweden which will be going into the Mistress and Maid room: http://hurleystonehouse.com/Mistress.html .