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Luykas Van Allen House

The Dutch settled the Hudson Valley in two ways. First they established towns and forts at New Amsterdam, (New York City), Kingston and up at the confluence of the Hudson & Mohawk Rivers, (Albany). Between these outposts of "civilization" and safety stretched vast acres of forests, hills and land. After the forts were established, the settlement began. Great Patroonships were granted on which smaller parcels were sold. These were settled by men and women out in the wilderness carving an existence to build their fortunes.

Today, throughout the Valley you can find examples of early Dutch brick and stone dwellings, isolated in the countryside, most transformed over the centuries beyond recognition. But you will find only a tiny scattering of brick homes in the Dutch style as most have been torn down over the years. Building of brick was a much more intensive way to build as the brick must first be made, whereas stone was lying about the ground everywhere. So finding a true Dutch brick dwelling, still intact and recognizable, is a real treat.

The Luykas Van Alen House is just such a dwelling, a nearly unique example of a late Dutch brick farmhouse built in the isolated wilderness. On top of that, it is a true jewel shining in the summer sun, lovingly saved and restored to its original 1734 appearance, complete with interiors. Unusual for any period home conserved and restored by a small local historical society, the Van Alen House has not been filled with bric-a-brac and furniture donated by caring members covering centuries of time. It has been restored and furnished as closely as possible to the real time of it's period, with accurate furnishings and period colors and interior appointments. The unusual Dutch stoops have been restored, the jambless fireplace reconstructed and an accurately spare collection of furniture placed in everyday modes.

The Columbia County Historical Societies pride of ownership and stewardship is obvious even from the road as you approach. The house is situated in a glen beyond a pond, a nearly idealistic setting for our 21st Century eyes. You approach the house by walking around the pond and are greeted by friendly and well informed local guides that invite you to come into the house and enjoy your visit. They interpret for you the house, the interiors and the times bringing their love for the site and its history to the task.

Of the many small historic homes to be found in the Hudson Valley, the Luykas Van Alen House is HV/Net's pick as the best. Both for the setting and the home itself, you cannot find a better example of loving recreation, care and stewardship. You will enjoy your visit and be happy you went out of your way to find this place.

The house is open for guided tours from Memorial Day to Labor Day on Thursdays to Saturdays from 11am to 5pm, and on Sundays from 1pm to 5pm. Bring a picnic and settle down on the lawns under the trees.

Specifics on visiting the Luykas Van Allen House were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
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