The close association of the Abram Demaree Homestead with the early French Huguenot settlement in America gives it a distinct place in the American archives. The original pioneer builder of the Homesteadís west wing is not clearly known. Architectural and building techniques date it to c1720. In 1769 Abram Demaree bought the house, outhouses and land from Daniel D. haring and his wife Agnietye. Abram Demaree was a merchant and purchased the site as a business venture due to its lying on the intersection of two major roads, the Old Hook and Schraalenburgh Roads, and the Dwars Kill, a tributary to the Hackensack River. A large barn, c1780, was used to store goods, which were delivered by boat up the Hackensack River. He conducted a Tavern, kept a general store of groceries, hardware and miscellaneous wares for farmers. He was a man of note and held many town offices. His son David built the large section of the house in 1809. In 1869 James Henry Stephens bought the house. Then in 1915, F.M. Curtis, bought the property and ran an antique shop until the restoration group purchased the property.
The small wing is a gable-roofed, sandstone block Dutch Colonial home. The sandstone blocks are of various degrees of roughness and contrast strongly with the main wing. The main house affixed to the small wing takes on the appearance of a mansion in contrast. The stones are very finished, smooth and well bonded with clay.
Through the main entrance one enters a porch c1870. As you step through the front door one must note the beautifully carved moldings, mantels and staircase. They are the best examples in any sandstone house. This house is in its original form, a very unique quality in this age. Notice the 12 over 12 original paned windows. The window trim is original as well as the shutters. Note the wide flooring in the eastern two rooms, and the c1870 parquet flooring to the west. The Archway of the center hall framing the staircase is unique. As you enter the small wing notice the floors, double-dutch doors, fanlight and beams. A working jamb less fireplace lies at the west end of the room, with a working beehive oven. Walking outside one can get a true picture of colonial architecture. The roofline is most important, with its hand split wood roof.
The small gray building is c1800 and was moved onto its present foundation in 1930. The large original c1780 hand-hewn barn is very rare today. The massive beams cut with an axe, are very impressive. The blacksmith forge is being restored. The site on the Hackensack River offers a beautiful and wild nature preserve and bird sanctuary. We hope you will walk the property and enjoy the brick paths, herb garden, and abundant flowers and capture the feeling of colonial America. Thank you for visiting the Abram Demaree Homestead.