How Cool Is This?

Yesterday afternoon I chanced to find myself in the Colonie Town Hall.  On my way to the office I was supposed to go to, I passed the Town Historian’s office.

Kevin Franklin proved to a most delightful gentleman.  When I asked if it were possible that he’d have any information on the 150 year old farmhouse I recently moved into, his eyes lit up and he dove in.

Within 15 minutes I was seated at a desk with books and files in layers in front of me.  I was given a yellow legal pad and a pen.

Among other things I learned that the original owners of the house were among the founding families of Colonie.  The Fort family was traceable back to the original French Huguenot LeForte family who came to this area via Canada.  Can you imagine coming down across the Adirondacks in the 1600’s?  I wonder how long it took?

I waded through deeds showing the transfer of the house within the Fort family until about 1907, and then the transfers since then until the 1980’s.  There were copies of suits filed both by the Fort’s and against them about the Ferry Business and generally interesting historical stuff.

To me, though, the real treasures are these:

and if you wonder what the Fort Ferry looked like:

note the cable strung above the ferry that crossed the river.

As I said before..How cool is this?

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5 comments to How Cool Is This?

  • I love that your home is a piece of “living history” as it were. Very cool finds!

    • Harriet

      So do I. Every now and then, sitting in my living room, I realize that it’s possible that people sat in that very spot discussing things like the abolition of slavery, or the coming civil war. It just astounds me.

  • Diane

    Oh how exciting!!! I love history and what a wonderful find you made yesterday! Have you done any scrapbooking before? If there is anyway you can get copies of the articles and pictures I highly recommend it. You could do a “through the years book”! I would definitely take a picture of you both standing on the steps like the first pic to do a then and now page! Oh this is just so neat Harriet, you must be over the moon to have found such a treasure of information about your lovely home!!!! The only thing cooler would to have found a picture with people spinning on the covered porch…I bet it’s out there some where. You know people have traced the familes of previous home owners like yours and some still have pictures and stories and are happy to share the history with you. I can’t remember if the person you bought it from said it was a home that had been in the family? Oh you could have so much fun with this!!! I’ll talk to you this weekend.

  • Harriet

    Diane, yes it was so exciting. I also love history. I had so much fun at the Town Historian’s office that I’m thinking of joining the Historical Society (if for no other reason that they’re donation driven, and membership is really reasonable).

    I’ve never done any scrapbooking. Do you? If you do, there’s a project I’ve been thinking about that I might need help on. I’ll talk to you about it on Saturday.