Quaker Notes

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Nick Churton of Mayfair International Realty steps back in time in deepest Dutchess County, New York.

I like Quaker Hill near the town of Pawling in New York. It is only about 67 miles from Manhattan, it is very beautiful and has great history – as the name would suggest. Quakers, subjected to religious bigotry in England, settled here in the 1730s and George Washington headquartered here briefly in the summer of 1778 during the colonies’ fight for independence.

So I was fascinated to visit the Hall Christy House at 5 Meeting House Road, Pawling. It is a fully restored farmhouse that owes a great deal to the Flemish style – particularly with its attractive flared gambrel roof.

This is a house for the keen conservationist and architectural enthusiast. The current owners fit into both categories – and then some. They have meticulously restored this wonderful building and brought it back to life – even if the life they have brought it back to seems at first glance more 18th century than 21st. But don’t worry. On closer inspection electric light and air conditioning are fitted as standard.

The owners salvaged the building and the adjacent barn from people who didn’t really want them. Luckily they were put in the safe and creative hands of those who did. Both buildings were moved piece by piece and lovingly reconstructed with forensic diligence in this wonderful location.

The photos in the Houlihan Lawrence brochure and on their website will give you a better idea. I have chosen a shot of the living room that illustrates well the decoration, style and furnishing.

If you visit this lovely house seek out the light switches – they are cleverly hidden behind period perfect candle boxes hanging on the walls. And check out the handles, doorknobs and latches. Touch them. They have been touched like that since Indians still occupied the abundant woods of the Clove Valley and since before the notion of America was a twinkle in the eyes of the Founding Fathers. This is a living monument to the early pioneers. Settle here and you will join them – in spirit at least.

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