Monday, August 25, 2014

A Visit to the Mabee Farm


So, this weekend I had a nice visit out to the Mabee Farm in Rotterdam Junction.


It is another one of those old Dutch homesteads, this time in Schenectady County along the Mohawk River.  While it was fun to contrast the jambless Dutch fireplace with the more enclosed English fireplace...



and to appreciate the soaring interior of the Dutch barn...


my  Bethlehem connection came when we walked down to the dock on the Mohawk to check out their two bateaux.


I'm thinking boats like this would have been used along the Normanskill and Vlomankill and maybe the Hudson to move goods and people inland.  A bateau is a shallow-draft, flat-bottomed boat, traditionally pointed at both ends and comes in many sizes.

The sign at the Mabee Farms notes

"The bateau became the favored means of transportation on the Mohawk and its tributaries during much of the 18th century.  This type of boat could navigate the shallow river and carry substantial amounts of goods, supplies and men.  Materials need for building these boats were readily available along the Mohawk."



P.S.

If you squint and read the complete sign below (at least it is not sideways!) you can read a claim about Henry Hudson over which there is much dispute.  Just how far up the Hudson River did he explore?
 


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