What
  • Abandoned
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Bridge
  • Castle
  • Cemetery
  • Church
  • Firehouse
  • Government Building
  • Haunted
  • Historic Building
  • Historic Event
  • Historic House
  • Historic Structure
  • Hotel
  • Island
  • Lost Place
  • Mile Marker
  • Milestone
  • Mill
  • Museum
  • Native American
  • Outdoors
  • Plaza
  • Railway Station
  • Restaurant
  • Revolutionary War
  • Roadside Attraction
  • Ruins
  • School
  • Skyscraper
  • Statues & Monuments
  • Tavern
  • Theater
  • True Crime
Where

John McNeal, one of the early Scots-Irish settlers of the area is suspected to have built the original portion of this house possibly around 1729, which would make it Montgomery’s oldest standing home. Although the settlers of this area maintained friendly relations with the local natives, they still relied on having places of refuge available in the event of an attack. Unlike the nearby congregation of today’s Brick Reformed Church, who entered their place of worship by a ladder that could be withdrawn, the congregation of Goodwill Church counted on this house as well as the no longer existing Hadden House as places of protection in the event of an attack. Commenting on the matter, Reverend John H. Thompson stated that the houses “effectually discouraged interruption of divine service by Redskins”.
In 1768, the house was enlarged by Henry Van Keuren, giving it a strong resemblance to the Dutch-style stone farmhouses that frequented Ulster County further north. And around 1900 the Van Keuren House was extensively updated by William and Elizabeth Whigam, who added its large dormer windows into the roof’s front and rear as well as new window sashes and a front porch, bringing the house to its present appearance.

The Van Keuren House before its 1900’s remodeling. Source: Old Houses of Hanover: Historic Sites of the Town of Montgomery, Orange County, New York

References:

Old Houses of Hanover: Historic Sites of the Town of Montgomery, Orange County, New York

Old Orange Houses Volume II by Mildred Parker Seese

Images of America: Montgomery, New York by Robert L. Williams

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