23 August 2008

Weeksville & Alfred

Christie and I ventured out to Historic Weeksville in Bedford-Stuyvesant today. It is a small collection of historic houses, originating from the decades after the Civil War. http://www.weeksvillesociety.org/ The three extant houses are decorated to periods 1870s, circa 1900, and 1930s so there's an interesting variety of furnishings. The guide Anna was enthusiastic and informed. They are called the Hunterfly Road Houses because the road along there was called Hunterfly, a corruption of the Dutch name. The road was originally a Lenape Indian trail. Just like Broadway and many of the roads and streets in the U.S.

The 1930s Williams House was especially poignant because both Christie and I are thinking about retirement. I am contemplating living in Alfred in the family house which was built in the 1870s by my great-grandfather and his father-in-law. Some of the stuff in the kitchen was evocative of the house I still think of as my grandmother's though she probably thought of it as HER grandmother's. You can see a couple pictures of the house at http://people.alfred.edu/~fmuller/VillageProject/164011/1016/index.html

Living there would mean that I'm the fifth generation of my family in the house. When I was a child, my grandmother and her second husband lived downstairs and my great aunt and her second husband lived upstairs. My folks lived upstairs after my great aunt's health weakened and she moved downstairs with my grandmother. After my great aunt and grandmother had died, my folks moved downstairs and my brother and his wife moved in upstairs until they built their house on the hill outside the village of Alfred. So, actually, I wouldn't be the first fifth-generation person to live there.

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