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The Mabie House
Historical Marker
Daniel Janse VanAntwerpen built the Mabee house in approximately 1670, then Jan Mabee (Mabie, Mebie), a newlywed purchased the house from Mr. VanAntwerpen in 1705, and this ancient landmark has remained in the Mabee family for generations. Having celebrated its 300th anniversary in 1970, it is generally considered the oldest house in the Mohawk Valley. Built of stone from the cellar to the eaves, this historic building has beams and walls that have withstood ravages of time for three centuries. Beams in the cellar are hand-hewn, made from entire tree trunks about two feet thick. The trees, split in half, were faced as floor joists. The hand wrought nails, used to secure the floor boards, are still visible. Rising from the solid foundation, the house was constructed with a high peaked roof, common to that period. Built with small paneled windows, the home had only one outside door, to insure greater safety during any possible Indian raids. Originally there were potholes in the upper walls, for shooting any Indian raiders, but these have since been filled in.

The living room and dining room appear today much the same as they did when the house was built. They have hand-hewn timbers in the ceiling approximately one foot square. A large colonial fireplace graces one wall, with built-in Dutch ovens on each side. Secret underground passages to an adjacent slave house have been blocked and there is a small unmarked plot in a front field where slaves are buried. Massive doors swing on heavy, hand forged hinges and many of these doors were built in two sections so that the lower half could be kept closed to keep animals out of the house and "kinder" in.

The Schenectady Historical Society has owned the homestead since 1993 and are in the process of putting the property back into a working farm museum. The Historical Society is trying to raise money to reconstruct two 18th century Dutch barns which were donated for the site.

You may tour the Mabee House and surrounding property by contacting the Schenectady Historical Society.

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