Exploring Some Time-Worn Structures in Rural Schoharie NY

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Farmhouse:  a building that serves as a primary residence in a rural or agricultural setting. Historically farmhouses were often connected to one or more barns built to form a courtyard with space for animals.  These were called housebarns.  In the United States American farmhouses had straightforward construction designed to function amidst a working farm in a rural setting.  They had a simple rectangular floor plan, usually built with local materials and included a dominant centrally-located fireplace for cooking and heating. (Wikipedia)
Isn't this a beautiful farmhouse?? As most of my regular readers know, we love farms, farmhouses and barns.  This past Sunday the blue skies and sunshine beckoned us to the road for a trip to one of our favorite places - Schoharie NY.  We began our day with a delicious lunch at the Apple Barrel which provided us with all the fuel we needed to take us on a short journey through the countryside.  As we were paying for our purchases, we asked the gals at the counter for suggestions on some back roads we might take in search of some old barns.  After a few seconds we were given specific directions to two roads right off the main drag where we could take our pick of turning right or left; both would provide what we were after.  They sure did!   Thank you ladies for the great advice!

Schoharie gets its name from the Mohawk word for driftwood.  Driftwood would pile up along the creek and would be used by the Indians as a bridge.  Although the creek contributed to the fertile soil and bountiful crops, it also was the source of widespread destruction in 2011 when Hurricane Irene caused the creek to rise to historic levels resulting in mass destruction of homes, farms, businesses and roads.  Referred to as a 500 year flood, many farms in the area suffered severe economic losses due to animals lost or drown in flood waters, barns deemed unusable, and fall harvest crops ruined. I still remember driving through town in the days that followed Irene....water level lines way up the sides of houses and businesses, contents of homes mud covered sitting on the curb for trash pick up. It was truly a vision of a devastating apocalypse.  I debated whether or not to share any photos from that time but decided it would be too troubling to those who lived through it, so here's just one....
It's taken some time, but Main Street now is nothing like this photo.  Life and business have returned, for the most part, and we find Schoharie to be one of the most beautiful counties within a short drive of the Capital District.  Although the countryside remains beautiful, it is evident that some of Schoharie's farms and barns have seen better days.  Still full of character, I find myself sad and intrigued by them, often thinking to myself, 'if only walls could talk'.  Come along as I share some of Schoharie's most time-loved and weather-worn barns and buildings.

This next one is a beauty.  
Mil-Sid Farm

Obviously not old, this is one gorgeous barn, maybe a carriage barn in its day.
 This one appears to have once been a farmhouse because of all the windows on three sides. A pretty high and very raging stream traveled alongside this road and I can't imagine what it must be like tonight after all the rain we've gotten.  Skip & Joanna Gaines redid a place that looked worse than this on their season finale.  I bet they could resurrect this too!

This barn, which was probably once quite impressive, is definitely on some borrowed time.  Still, I couldn't help falling in love with it and it's interesting textures and resident farm animals.  As we stopped alongside it to take photos, several sheep came strolling out, baaaa'ing loudly as if to ask if there was some reason for our intrusion.  The horses seemed less impressed and just watched from their place in the warm sun.

 This building above just reminded me of some tough seniors I've known.....suffering from several ailments, not looking as spiffy as they once did, but standing strong refusing to give up!  I bet you know some too, right?!?!

 Anybody tell me what this building once was?

 Even the ride to Schoharie is beautiful, whether you take I-88 or Route 7 out of Schenectady (just two of many routes), beauty will greet you.
While you're there stop and visit the Apple Barrel for a little shopping or a delicious lunch!  Tell them I sent you.  Thanks for coming along on another rural NY road trip.  Come back soon for more Life As I See It.


  1. The long green building, may have been a chicken barn, in it's first life.

    1. Thanks! My mom thought the same thing! Nice digs for chickens...back in the day anyway. Thanks for reading and sharing your wisdom!

  2. One quick comment on the green building with all the windows. I believe that is located in Gallupville and if it's the same one I remember, it was once a very large chicken coop.

    1. Thanks! Funny how when you get on these quiet back, country roads, you don't realize you've migrated into a different town. Thanks for that info ;) Chicken coups were pretty fancy back in the old days!

  3. The Carrot Barn is another good place to eat. It's on route 30 on the way to Schoharie.

  4. SUCH a delightful article! I was a member of Schoharie County Quilt Barn Trail from it's grassroots until this last Autumn. It tickled me to see two of the barns with blocks that are on the trail in your article. Lovely to read this great article. Who doesn't love an old barn!!!

    1. Thank you Sharon! I'm so happy to have included two of the barns sporting the quilts. Although I've been visiting Schoharie for many, many years, I'd forgotten about the quilt trail, so my including them was purely accidental. If you love old barns, be sure to check out other posts I've written - under the Destination-NY category of my blog. There's no shortage of old barns around here at Life As Is I See It. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Please stick around and don't be a stranger!


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