Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Kip-Beekman House

Finding History

While returning home from a long day of adventure I came across this interesting sign which lead me to some even more interesting ruins. Turns out I was standing in the living room of a revolutionary war hero. 

The Kip-Beekman House was built in 1700 by Hendrick Kip. It was also the home of Col. Henry Beekman, Jr. and also his Grandson, Col. Henry Brockholst Livingston (1757 - 1823). 

 The home was destroyed by fire in the early 20th century. The structure was of such local prominence that Franklin Delano Roosevelt based the design of the Rhinebeck Post Office on the manor house and used the majority of the stones for the construction of the building.

FDR at Dedication of Rhinebeck Post Office

Now, all that stands is this one section, but stands proud it does. To think these stones were stacked over 300 years ago, with no binding agent other than gravity to hold them in place - its pretty cool, a testament to the people who built it. “What would these people think seeing Professor Roderick standing, uninvited, right in the middle of their living room?” I thought to myself.

I stood for a beat and took in the moment. It was the end of the day and the sun had begun to set, the birds singing their songs as a cool breeze rustled the leaves over my head.  Standing next to the structure I placed my warm hand onto the cool stone, for that brief moment I was transported back to another time.  

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