Situated within New York’s Mohawk Valley, along the banks of the Mohawk River, is a structure widely recognized as the oldest existing building in the region, if not the state. The Mabee House, part of the Mabee Farm, now a tourist attraction, allows us to take a peek into the past at what life might have been like for the original settlers of “the new world.”
The land was first acquired and settled by Daniel Janse Van Antwerpen in the 1670s who purchased it from the Mohawks and received a grant from the English Governor to establish a fur trading post a few miles west of Schenectady.
He sold the western part of the property to Jan Mabee, my brother-in-law’s 8th great-grandfather, in 1705 and who, for the next 300 years, kept it in the family as generations of Mabees lived, worked, and died there.
The complex includes the original family stone house that was built in 1705 (though the stones in the walls have been dated back to 1680), a slave building, the family cemetery, and a frame pre-Erie Canal Inn where Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler stayed while surveying for the Western Inland Navigation and Lock Company.
The complex was donated by the Mabee family to the Schenectady County Historical Society in 1993 for use as a museum and educational center. It is open to the public from May to October each year.
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