East Fishkill Greek Revival with a story to tell – told by Mary Belle Duvivier

It is our pleasure to introduce Mary Belle Duviver as a guest blogger and life-long resident of Dutchess County as she tells the story of her home.  Located in the Town of East Fishkill on 1.8 acres, this home is currently on the market.  The original part of the home was built before the revolutionary war with an addition built in the 1830′s transforming it into a Greek Revival.

“We Came like Shadows and so Depart” by Mary Belle Duvivier

Photograph of home taken in 1939

I have lived in this house since 1962 when I was 6 years old.  But the shadows of those before have often entered my thoughts.  As I sit in the kitchen that I find so comfortable and welcoming and I use this laptop; (an instrument of this time)  I think of the many others who have sat in this room over the last two and a half centuries.  How they lived and the instrument from their times they used to make a life and a home in this house.

From all accounts the builders and first owner of this house was Christian DuBois.  He came from Ulster County about 1736.  Therefore, the oldest part of this house was built around that time.  This would have included the kitchen, and what we now use as a dining room and the room above that dining room.  While we may think of that as a small house, in that time it was a mansion.  Under the kitchen is a large cistern and there is a foundation wall in front of where the fireplace now sites.  In that foundation wall is the base of another fireplace that was even bigger than the one we now use.  The modern fireplace was probably a later addition in the 1840′s.

Christian Dubois’ son Christian Jr. was born about 1746, probably in this house.  There is little record of Christian Sr’s wife and she died before Christian Jr’s wedding.  Christian Jr. married Helena (Hellenah, Magdalena) Van Voorhis about 1768 and they made their life in this house.

I have imagined the discussions that took place in this kitchen over the next years.  A new idea was emerging and a new county was forming.  Both Christian Sr. and Jr. were in the Dutchess County militia.   http://dunhamwilcox.net/ny/ny_rev_levies_charlotte.htm   And because of this involvement one can only imagine the discussions and the visitors who sat in this house.

During this time Christian Jr. and Helena were raising their family.  I have found evidence of at least 7 children who were probably born in this house…

Gerrit b. 1769, married Hannah Cooper (daughter of Obediah Cooper)

Catrina b. 1771, married Jacob Griffin

Koert b. 1774,  married Mary Thorn

Abraham b. 1776, never married

Hendrick b. 1778, never married

Elizabeth b. 1780, married John Bailey

John b.?, married Gertrude Broadhead

The house was still owned by the Dubois family on a 1798 map.  Christian Jr. died in 1807 and Helena in 1826.  Probably one of the children inherited the house.  Apparently the house was owned by the Van Voorhis family in the 1830-40s when the main addition was built, and Andrew Jackson was president.  For more information on Greek Revivals check out

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/architecture-and-design/greek-revival-1820-1850.shtml

Check back soon for more information on Mary Belle’s home.

http://ferrisre.com/hudval/listing-historic-treasure-382.html

3 Comments on “East Fishkill Greek Revival with a story to tell – told by Mary Belle Duvivier”

  • Nancy Smyth says:

    Wow! I came across this by sheer fluke – and Gerrit Dubois and Hannah Cooper are my great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents. I live in British Columbia, Canada. I’ve been trying to work on my genealogy for many years, and would be very grateful for any more information about the house Mrs. Duviver would be willing to pass on. Thank you! Nancy

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