c. 1840 – Evans Mills, NY

Details below are from September 2017, sold status has not been verified.
To verify, check the listing links below.

Added to OHD on 9/6/17   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   37 Comments
Off Market / Archived

29917 Nys Route 37, Evans Mills, NY 13637

Map: Street

  • $49,900
  • 4 Bed
  • 1 Bath
  • 2533 Sq Ft
  • 5.38 Ac.
A Piece of North Country History - Your chance to call it your own! Rare opportunity to bring new life to this incredible 1825 stone house which has been formally occupied by noted North Country Author, Frederick "Fred" Exley. Much of Exley's acclaimed novel, "A Fan's Notes", was written here. Other noteworthy works include "Pages From A Cold Island" & "Last Notes From Home". Over 5 acres accompanies the home which would allow for a small farm if you so desire. Just imagine what a little TLC would do for this property - Absolutely Incredible! Original stone, hand carved beams and bright windows are sure to WOW. This is surely a must see - Call today!
Contact Information
Lori Gervera Team, Keller Williams Realty
(315) 701-6900
Links, Photos & Additional Info

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: , | Misc: ,

37 Comments on c. 1840 – Evans Mills, NY

OHD does not represent this home. Comments are not monitored by the agent. Status, price and other details may not be current, verify using the listing links up top. Contact the agent if you are interested in this home.
  1. Laurie W. says: 1761 comments

    I would love to get my hands on this house. (Looks like somebody started at some point.) Kind of Farmhouse-Greek Revival? It has so much potential, way up there where winter means it, but the country is gorgeous. I do hope somebody takes this beauty under their wing.

  2. SueSue says: 1142 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1802 Cape

    I agree with Laurie. What a beautiful place. The ideas are endless for the inside of this home. All those gorgeous beams and woodwork waiting to be restored. A pretty cozy home for those winters and large family holidays. I want more pictures please.

  3. natira121natira121 says: 602 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1877 Vernacular
    Columbia River Gorge, WA


    Thank you so much for your website. It certainly saves my sanity at times, and after yesterday, when I did not get a chance to look at the listings, it is a real treat to sit down and drool over houses like this.

    I live in the Columbia River Gorge. Yesterday at 2:30 AM a friend of my son woke us to say that the Eagle Creek Fire on the Oregon side of the gorge had jumped the mighty Columbia and started a fire 7 miles east of us. The wind was blowing from the east at 30 mph, gusts to 40.

    Needless to say, we had a very stressful day. We had no idea for several hours how bad the fire was, if it was moving toward us or not (it was so smoky we could only see a huge ominous red glow) and if we’d have to evacuate or not.

    We had everything packed and ready for evac in record time, after waking all of our neighbors with the bad news in the wee hours. Our little neighborhood is very rural, we all know each other, and it was awesome to have everyone calling, texting, emailing, and stopping by to share info and suggestions.

    The fire spread during the day, but very slowly. Ash, charred leaves, and fir needles were dropping all over. We put sprinklers in the yard, and on the roof. Hours later the wind finally stopped!

    Today, I am thrilled to write, we are in no imminent danger, all our stuff is ready to go if need be, and I arranged a place for our horses should we have to evacuate.

    My son lives across from the huge Eagle Creek fire, and his wife was due with their first child on the 3rd. They ended up staying at her mother’s place until the baby is born. He was worried the fire would close our highway. The Oregon side is already closed. He texted last night to say he had friends lined up for fire duty/evac help for us, should we need it.

    My daughter promptly went into action, calling friends and family with info, etc. She spent all day cooking and baking so she’d have food for us if we had to leave. She was cleaning the basement for us to sleep in, and I didn’t have the heart to tell her we’d be camping in the yard. She’ll appreciate her clean basement, right? *grin*

    While I was typing this, my son texted to say his wife is again in labor, but that her mom is now in the hospital with probable kidney stones!

    I think I’ll drool over some of my favorites now. And I do apologize for hijacking the comments, but I needed to get all that off my chest!

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11895 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thanks natira121!

      Stressful indeed! I saw some pics of that fire, I can’t imagine how scary it is to think it might be heading your way. (Congrats on the soon to be grandkid!) Feel free to hijack comments any time! Let us know how you and your family are after the fire decides to die or keep on.

      • natira121natira121 says: 602 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1877 Vernacular
        Columbia River Gorge, WA

        We were laughing Monday (my daughter’s birthday) about HER daughter being born during an ice storm on December 31st, and the next grand daughter being born during a firestorm!

    • Michael Mackin says: 2399 comments

      I live northeast of you and we have a lot of the smoke from that fire. Prayers to you and your family. I know how you feel about going to Kelly’s website. It is the one thing I look forward to each day! Thank you Kelly!

    • Colleen J says: 1196 comments

      Thank God you are safe for now … here in Alberta the smoke is so thick from the BC fires, we haven’t seen rain for over 5 months, I’m in no immediate danger at all, but I can only feel for all in fire and hurricane paths, stressful times. Stay safe and congratulations on new grandchild soon.

      As well all of you with old houses that you have worked so hard on in the paths of the fury of mother nature hurricanes and fire, my heart goes out to all of you. Stay Strong. Blessings.

    • Karen says: 116 comments

      As a former Portland resident with family and friends still there and one in Corbett, I have been watching this very closely. It is so sad. I’m glad you’re safe. Take care!

    • Gregory Hubbard says: 458 comments

      You live in such a beautiful area, never thought of it as scary. Give us updates!
      My parents were caught in the middle of a forest fire, and they still occasionally need to discuss it, and it’s been more than 20 years. You tell your story well. Good people will always listen with great interest and sympathy. And congratulations.

  4. Michael Mackin says: 2399 comments

    I love the stone exterior on this lovely home. It still looks good after more than 175 years!

    • Dr. Peterson says: 104 comments

      Michael, I would be gravely concerned about the structural integrity of the stone wall with the enormous vertical crack from floor to ceiling shown in photo #9. that is not something to be ignored.

      Also what’s up with the fireplace chimney that takes a jog between the windows in photo #10? Interesting…..

      • Michael Mackin says: 2399 comments

        If it’s a new crack, I would agree. If it’s an old crack, it is very possibly from settling, something I would expect to see in a house this age. Still, I would have it looked at by a qualified engineer before it scared me away!

      • Michael Mackin says: 2399 comments

        I did take a second look at the chimney. It does tilt but I’m betting it was built that way on purpose! They stepped the stone over so they could bring the chimney in at the center of the ridge on the outside. A look at the outside shows a metal patch where the chimney once protruded through the roof. It was done for the pure aesthetics of the architecture.

        • Preservationist (Richard B. Hall) says: 2 comments

          Regarding the interior attic slant to that chimney:

          It WAS built that way! It’s common in the period. It’s called “corbelling”!!! Any good mason knows that.

          That’s a very good 1830s house. It’s not really 1825. That area didn’t see good Greek Revivals like this one until AT LEAST the 1830s. It was a money house in its day and deserves careful and thoughtful restoration.

          Someone ought to get it who knows the idiosyncracies of an old house and the challenges inherent in making it into the superb home it could be.

          That’s one superb New York State Stone House.

          Look at the woodwork! Seldom does one find them so intact. Even the latches are Norfolk and original!

          That house deserves a very devoted owner.

      • Mike Bathrick says: 45 comments

        I agree with Michael about the jog in the chimney – it’s intent was to bring a fireplace that was not in the center of the wall up to the roof at the peak. As far as the crack, I suspect the house will last at least another hundred years. However, having a structural engineer with experience in old homes look at it would be prudent.

  5. glorybe says: 144 comments

    Our prayers are with those that are experiencing fire and floods in other parts of the US!
    Thank you for sharing your joy, having a granddaughter born- You are indeed blessed abundantly by God & we Rejoice with you… What is your grand daughter’s name? We know His hand of protection is there for you and your family and we are thankful you are safe and sound!
    I keep noticing several Stone houses in our area here in Western New York. This one could be a lovely home & I see the potential. Boy! Tons of work to be done.

  6. Garrett Gardell says: 19 comments

    I was passing through Watertown a few years back and visited an odd museum of turbines housed in an old mansion. There’s also an interesting mall building still used for the purpose built about 1870, in a very pretty downtown. I asked them about Exley, I remembered his autobiographical book was pretty depressing overall. They weren’t terribly enthusiastic either, strange for a native son I thought. Said he mostly hung around the local bars, as in the book.

  7. SandyC says: 1 comments

    The dream of a fixer-upper in the country imbued with history sustained my husband and I for many years…and then we bought The Farmhouse. It was only 72 years old in 1972; young by east coast standards but was a monument to the grit and courage of the people who settled the Kansas prairie. We were driven to restore it. Our adventures along the way are now fodder for my writing.
    Old House Dreams has become my muse inspiring me to continue writing the stories of our 13 years in that lovely old wreck of a house. Thank you.

  8. natira121natira121 says: 602 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1877 Vernacular
    Columbia River Gorge, WA

    My grand daughter was born last night about 10pm. 6.5 pounds, her name is Allison Eve. I’ll be seeing her later this morning.

    As for the fire, we’re safe for now. But getting timely updates is maddening! And we didn’t get any precip last night… we were sure hoping and praying for that! But it IS way cooler, with more humidity, so that will help.

  9. KibbieB says: 18 comments

    The stone in this house is fabulous. It definitely needs some TLC but I can see the bones of an amazing home in here.

  10. jimtown says: 88 comments

    Look at the size of the lumber in those ceiling joists! I love the third photo in particular, with the fireplace and brick. It’s going to look fantastic when finished.

  11. JJ says: 97 comments

    I love that this website is more than houses; it’s a community of people who care about these houses, and each other. Kelly, thank you for creating this peaceful place. Natira, I’m so glad you are safe and congratulations on your new grandbaby! My prayers and positive thoughts go out to everyone affected by the fires, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. This too shall pass and you are not alone.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11895 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      I agree JJ! I’ve been trying to figure out a “tag line” for the site to say it’s more than old house real estate but a community, I’m stuck on how to word that in just one sentence! 🙂

      • natira121natira121 says: 602 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1877 Vernacular
        Columbia River Gorge, WA


        Considering your readership numbers, I’d say you don’t HAVE to say anything!

        Just came back from seeing my latest grandbaby. She’s very pretty for a newborn *grin* Mom is tired, of course, but completely fine. And my son is completely enamored! (It’s their first child)

        It was funny to see my big,(He’s nearly 6’4″) burly, red-neck-looking son holding his tiny daughter, grinning, and commenting on how everything she does is cute! And he’s changed her diapers already!

        Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers regarding both my grand daughter, and the fires. Our latest updates have the fire near us bigger, but more contained. Evacuation orders have been down-graded for nearly everyone effected, which is comforting news, to say the least. (This refers to the Archer Mountain Fire on the Washington side of the gorge, not the huge fire on the Oregon side)

  12. JimHJimH says: 4958 comments
    OHD Supporter

    This house and its 85 acre farm were owned for most of a century by Ephraim Strong (1775-1862) and his descendants. The Strongs were originally from Connecticut, came to the area in 1811 and created a farm in what was wilderness at the time.
    From a local newspaper piece in 1944:
    One of the oldest of the farmhouses in the town of LeRay is on the old Military road leading from Pamelia Four Corners to Evans Mills. It is of native limestone construction and follows the Georgian manner of architecture so prevalent among the old stone houses of Jefferson County. Its appearance both exteriorly and interiorly is unusually cozy and homey and its location is in one of the most quiet and peaceful parts of the county. In those months of the year from May 1 to late October its setting is idyllic. It is of the side-hall type and its frontdoor or main entrance is most attractive, the original door having been kept with its flanking sidelights, but no transom window above. The little semicircular attic window, gracefully designed, instantly calls the attention of the eye and the trees in the front yard lend to the beauty of the property. The house is said to have been constructed some time in the 1820s.

  13. Kelly Prentice says: 8 comments

    The Columbia Gorge fire is one of the saddest things in my life . The beauty and awesomeness of it has always lifted my spirits . My wedding was Tuesday the 5 of September The day of the most smoke and fire, I still grieve for its loss.

  14. Gregory K. Hubbard says: 458 comments

    Stone homes are always very impressive. As everyone has commented, this is a very handsome example. Lots of great details, well handled. The front door is original, and the door surround, with the elegantly thin engaged columns and the sidelights, make a fine composition. The not-quite-centered-over-the-window below gable fanlight is wonderful. It would be interesting to have a detail photograph of the remaining porch columns. All this exterior woodwork will need lots of work.

    As I said, stone homes are lovely, but they take care, and this one has been neglected for a long time.

    I’m going to clog this blog with a couple of building analysis comments. There are lots of ‘musts’ in my notes, but old stonework and brickwork are not forgiving of mistakes.

    The way I see it, much, perhaps most of the exterior stonework must be repointed. At least that’s what it looks like in the photographs I’ve enlarged. Repointing requires skill. First, any loose or broken mortar must be raked out by hand. Power grinders are fast, but difficult to control and will chip and gouge the bricks or stones, widening the spaces between the masonry units, and dramatically changing the visual balance between the mortar and the brick or stone. They also do structural damage to any brick.

    All masonry expands and contracts with the freeze-thaw cycle. Older slightly softer mortar mixes allow the masonry units, whether stone, composition cast cement, or fragile brickwork, to move with this cycle. Modern portland cement mortars are very often harder than the antique brick or stone. The masonry units will begin to fracture as they push against the harder mortar in the joints. This can damage stone, but it’s disastrous on brickwork. The real challenge will be to find someone with experience in stonework restoration in that area. If I were lucky enough to buy this home, I would definitely check the work of anyone I considered for this job! References would be a must.

    On to the crack in the wall between the main house and the kitchen wing. To me, the interior crack does not appear active, although that’s a dangerous judgement to make from a photograph. For what it’s worth, I have many decades in preservation, not bragging, just to let you know I’ve seen lots of cracks… This crack appears to me to be a foundation settlement crack – I don’t mean to insult your intelligence as you have probably figured that out without the need to read my comments.

    It’s wider at the bottom than at the top, indicating to me that the foundation settlement is centrally located, but there has been movement along the entire foundation.

    In addition, the vertical gaps in the crack appear to be wider than the horizontal gaps, further indication of a central sag pulling the stonework horizontally as well as splitting the wall vertically from the bottom up.

    If there had been irregular movement, unequal support, along the entire length of the interior foundation supporting this wall, the stonework would probably look like badly cracked china. The central crack might be more irregular. There would be obvious damage to the exterior stonework, as such a broad failure would pull dramatically inward and down on the exterior blocks of stone. No such failure is visible, although, again, I’m looking at the same photographs you are.

    As for the chimneys, Mr. Mackin is correct, the chimney is angled for exterior symmetry, to center the visible portion above the roof at the peak, not off to one side. This was surprisingly common.

    What puzzles me is why there are no chimneys piercing the main roof. Perhaps they were cut off to make it easier to reroof the house, or because chimney-rafter joints can be leaky, and removing the chimneys was an easy fix. That certainly appears to be what was done to the kitchen stack, the one that leans, as it ends below the rafters and the roof is patched. That will leave a new owner with the question of whether to rebuild the chimneys, and if so, in an ashlar-cut like the home’s facing stonework, quite common in the 1800’s, or to rebuild in rubble.

    In my less than humble opinion, people who strip plaster off old house walls should be spanked and sent to bed without their supper. Stripping out the plaster removes any trace of prior historic wall treatments. Furthermore, the new owner must now shim all the new sheetrock to meet the plaster depth on this handsome woodwork. Lots of extra work, and lots of extra money. It has been my experience that even water damaged plaster can be saved. I volunteered in New Orleans after Katrina, and the water soaked plaster there was usually fine if allowed to dry. Lifting, not removing, siding boards allowed air to circulate past the wooden laths allowing them to dry.

    Still, a wonderful house with fine woodwork; it’s well worth owning.

  15. circa 64 says: 9 comments

    I pray for all effected by the fires, I love this house , will drive to check it out

  16. Sonja Ward says: 10 comments

    I do not see for sale anymore.

  17. Hope M says: 7 comments

    That house has been for sale for about 15 years or more! I wonder what the deal is?

  18. Jason says: 1 comments

    I don’t see any outlets I’m sure there has been updates as it looks like central heat/air has been put in, the realtor should mention the updates that have been done to the house. I would love to buy this gem

Comment Here

Think before you type! Keep comments a friendly place for each other, owners and agents.
Comments that do not add value to the conversation in a positive manner will not be approved.

Click here to read the comment rules, updated 1/12/20.
Commenting means you've read and will abide by the comment rules.

OHD does not represent this home. Price, status and other details must be independently verified. Do not call the agent unless you are interested in the property.