Eldridge to tell the story of the rebirth of the Daniel Conkling House

RENSSELAERVILLE — “From Deterioration to Rebirth” will be the program at the annual meeting of the Rensselaerville Historical Society on Saturday, Sept. 26.

The meeting will be at the Medusa firehouse. The business meeting starts at 5 p.m., followed by a potluck supper at 6 p.m. with the program at 7 p.m. All are welcome; visitors do not have to be members of the Historical Society to attend any part of the meeting.

The program will showcase many of John Eldridge’s vast collection of photos documenting the step-by-step progress over the last three years of before, during, and after restoration of the Daniel Conkling House on Albany Hill Road by brothers Stewart and Roy Myers.

The Myerses are descended from the original owner of the house and this year were honored by an award from the Preservation Society of New York State. The Daniel Conkling House has also been listed this year on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. It was originally built in 1806, one of the earliest houses in the Town of Rensselaerville.

Before the Myerses bought it, the Daniel Conkling House had been neglected and vandalized for over 20 years. John Eldridge’s photos show what it looked like when his grandmother owned it in the early 1900s — it was a magnificent structure then. His photos also show the progress “From Deterioration to Rebirth” as the Myerses removed many Dumpsters full of trash and repaired broken stair railings and broken windows and replaced damaged walls and restored areas to what they looked like in the past life of the house.

Modernization of heating and plumbing systems and updating of the kitchen area make the interior of the house more suitable for today’s needs but the exterior is restored to the appearance it enjoyed in the early and mid-1900s. The Myerses are now restoring various outbuildings on the property also.

They will be at the Historical Society’s annual meeting and will be willing to talk to visitors about details of their restoration project.

Editor’s note: By Janet Haseley is the research chairwoman of the Rensselaerville Historical Society.

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