If you are looking to branch out of Brooklyn without breaking the bank, this worker’s cottage in Kinderhook, N.Y., might make just the right charming retreat.
Located just a short stroll from several museums in the historic town, the little house at 4 Railroad Avenue is history at a diminutive scale.
Kinderhook was established in the 17th century and the name derives from the Dutch word kinderhoek, meaning children’s corner. The community is known these days for its charming downtown and numerous historic sites — including the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site and, just within walking distance of the cottage, the Columbia County Historical Society and the James Vanderpoel House.
The cottage is not known to be the former abode of any of the famous movers and shakers of the community, but was a simple home for cotton-mill workers who made the economy of the town possible.
In the 19th century, Kinderhook and the surrounding county were places of industry. Contemporary guides to New York, like the 1842 Gazetteer of the State of New-York, noted the burgeoning manufacturing presence, including hat and morocco (leather) factories and cotton mills.
This little home appears on an 1858 map of Kinderhook as one of eight cottages for workers at what is identified as the J. P. Chrysler & Co.’s Steam Cotton Factory. A 1914 history of the town dates the mill’s founding by partners Hoes and Chrysler to 1846, and the houses are believed to have been constructed around the same time.
The mill changed hands several times before burning down in 1882, but several of the cottages seem to have survived the centuries.
The listing is amusingly (or frustratingly) short on details — “just immerse yourself in the pictures” it says — and, well, the charm of the roughly 800-square-foot cottage does draw you in.
There isn’t a floor plan but the pictures show an open plan on the first floor with a small entryway and narrow staircase leading to the upstairs.
Some wide-planked and stenciled floors are visible and an archway leads back towards the kitchen. Tucked under the stair is doorway that may lead to a small hallway.
The kitchen is compact and has some cottage-style charm. The stove is on the opposite wall, and there doesn’t appear to be a dishwasher.
The upstairs bedrooms both have sloping ceilings — which may seem charming or challenging, depending on your height.
There is just one bath, a full one with a tub, per the listing; in keeping with the theme, it appears to be tiny. While not visible in any of the photos, there is a full-size washer and dryer in the house, according to the current owner.
The fenced-in rear yard is fairly large and has a small windowed shed and deck.
The backyard appears to abut a heavily wooded area and the front of the house faces Mills Park, a 25-acre open space.
Listed by Michael Castellano of Gilcrest Properties, the compact cottage is asking $165,000.
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