If the tales are to be believed, in 1609, explorer Henry Hudson took a break from his navigational trek along the river that would eventually bear his name and disembarked from his ship the Halve Maen (Half Moon) to step ashore in Stockport, N.Y.
While historians disagree about exactly where Hudson disembarked, his journals show that he was traversing the waters in the vicinity and went ashore to visit a native American household the week of September 17.
The New York State Education Department gave the Stockport story an official stamp of approval in 1932 by placing a historic marker to indicate the purported landing spot. The sign was positioned in front of the Abraham Staats House, a Dutch stone house built about 50 years after Hudson’s celebrated trip.
Staats had journeyed from the Netherlands to New Amsterdam around 1642 to make his mark in the New World working for the Dutch West India Company as a surgeon. It is believed that he soon moved to Beverwijck (soon to be renamed Albany) and took advantage of the rich landscape, switched careers and became a fur trader.
He built his house that also likely served as a trading post at the foot of the Stockton Creek, a strategic spot for shipping goods in and out. In the year of 1657 alone, he sent 4,200 beaver skins to New Amsterdam, according to the book “Columbia County at the End of the Century,” published by the Hudson Gazette in 1900.
His original house reportedly burned around 1664 but Staats stayed on the land and constructed a new stone house. It is this stone house, believed to be the oldest in Columbia County, that still stands on the scenic spot near the junction of Stockton Creek and the Hudson River. One need only block out the view of the nearby railroad tracks to imagine stepping back in time.
By 1988, the house was in rough shape, with collapsing stonework, a failing roof and an interior that had some unsympathetic 1940s alterations. New owners bought the property and spent 10 years restoring the house, according to the article “A Donated Land Conservation Easement” by Donald Meltz.
The historic stone dwelling at 200 Station Road is now on the market, listed for $999,000 by Margaret Polenberg of Peggy Polenberg Real Estate.
The four-bedroom, three-bath home is not a pure 17th century house but shows the changes each succeeding generation made to adjust the home to their contemporary comfortable living standards. Additions at the side and rear, for example, increased its size. The exterior is a picturesque mix of stone and wood shingles.
On the interior, beamed ceilings and deep window wells can be glimpsed in the listing photos. The one fireplace pictured is a later stone addition, and if any wide-planked floor boards survive, they are not shown.
A mid 20th century Dutch door at the entrance provides a wonderfully atmospheric glimpse of the creek across the road.
The additions bring light into the house with larger windows and open spaces. It appears the current owners use these rooms as the main entertaining and gathering spaces.
The kitchen has been updated from the open hearth days with white cabinetry and appliances.
Upstairs are four bedrooms, with what looks to be a combination of wall-to-wall carpeting and new wood floors. Sloping ceilings, deep window wells and some built-in seating add a dash of character.
In addition to restoring the house, the 1988 purchasers also sought to protect the surrounding land while maintaining the option to build on a portion of the 40-acre holding. They ultimately placed a conservation easement with the Columbia Land Conservancy, ensuring new owners have unobstructed views.
While the surroundings have a bit of wild, bucolic charm, the property also has a manicured landscape immediately surrounding it. There’s a stone patio, flower garden and two barns.
Stockport is a small river town, located less than 10 miles from downtown Hudson. While no trains stop on the tracks near the house, you can still navigate by water.
Just out the front door and at the creek is a boat launch. The area is part of Stockport Flats, a five-mile stretch of shoreline, marshes, islands and peninsulas to explore.
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