Thursday, June 29, 2017

The DePeyster Historian

My time in upstate was so busy and so prophetic. When I saw this home for sale, while living in California, I never knew that it was calling me home.
Spending two weeks there went quickly but it took me another 6 years before I made the move to live in my new home. I knew that there was a Cemetery 1/4 mile from the house and after we moved in, I used to look at it from my upstairs doll room window.
I have an affinity for Cemeteries. I don't know why but it has always been that way for me. From the Creek Cemetery Mounds as a child to the Coon Hill Cemetery ghost at night, a Cemetery brings me peace. It was only right that I bought a home with a Cemetery close by and I was devastated when the owners of the land next to me sold it and someone built a home between me and my beloved Cemetery. Thank goodness it was far enough back off the road that I could still view it, but I had to close one of my eyes to block out the house. lol.
It was not long after we moved in that I walked down to take a look at the small enclosed Cemetery. There were probably only about 100 graves, most of them in good shape, some of them unmarked and some of them marked with familiar names... Peacock... Morris.... McCurdy.... All names of my family. I remember how stunned I was to see my family names in this tiny Cemetery in a village of 55 people in upstate NY. I had bought a home that belonged to me. Deeper than I would have ever known but it made sense of this longing within me, to be home, this home and to stay forever. That was why it was so hard to drag me away from it, until it almost killed me.
Everything I did, reminded me that this home was meant to be mine. Digging in the garden produced dolls, toys, marbles, a child's shoe, a complete wagon. I had found the burn pile or the place where they threw every thing away that was considered unneeded. We found many things over the years as we made our garden larger and larger, but my favorite things were the dolls and medical bottles. I was a Nurse and I was a doll collector and later I found out something that stunned me . It let me know for certain that this home and place had called to me for a reason.
I immediately immersed myself in the history of the town seeking out the Present Historian, Adelaide Steele and she became my mentor. I could have spent a thousand years with this wonderful lady and never know all that she did. She imparted her wisdom and knowledge of the town as often as she could and had the town make me Deputy Historian, so that I could be at all the meetings and learn. She recognized my thirst for knowledge and although I had come from California, that I belonged with them.
Hanging in the round house, that would one day be my office as Historian, was a picture of Jesse McCurdy. Just the name alone sent shivers down my spine and when I looked into his face, I could see my family. I wish so much that I had a photograph of this portrait but many of my pictures were lost on an old computer.
My family name of McCurdy, the cemetery with Morris, Peacock and McCurdy's buried there were not a coincidence. In the many books that the Historical society had was one that talked about my home. It used to be a former dairy on 565 acres. It also listed the names of the previous owners, a McCurdy!!!
My home that Daddy helped me buy was a McCurdy home. The chills found me that day. Serendipity at its best and I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had come home. It was the hardest thing I ever did leaving that house, that Cemetery, that place that called to my soul. It was the hardest time in my life and yet it left me with memories that warm my heart.
I was given a gift. I lived clear across the country and yet we picked up a paper that day and saw the house for sale. A home almost 3000 miles from where I lived. I bought it the day I saw it, a two story, 2500 sq ft home on just 3 acres at that time. A few years later we bought another 80 acres that originally belonged to the house. I wanted as much of the original acreage as I could get. Then I got sick and everything changed in my life.
Someone else occupies my home now but it still belongs to me and my family. A McCurdy owned it 100 years ago and a McCurdy descendant owned it again for 25 years.
My children grew up there with the marks and names on the beam signaling a height and age change. The new owner promised me that if they wanted to paint, they would remove the beam and send it to me. I believe that they will do that for me. God sent them to buy my home. I believe so that a child would be in the house again and so that another family member would own the home. Their family owned most of the rest of the acreage that originally belonged to the house so they are home now, as much as I was before them.
I love you my dear friends. I pray that your days are blessed like mine are.. Always, Kimmee
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