Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Hann Homestead Inn in Andover, N.Y.

        The  Hann Homestead Inn (bed and breakfast) along Route 417 west of Andover, N.Y. was built by Simeon Hann in 1840. Born in Oxford, Conn. in 1811, he came to Andover with his family in 1837. He lived in a log cabin until he built this house three years later of lumber he cut in his own sawmill nearby.  He was a farmer by occupation. The 17-room house is 40 feet long facing the road and 28 feet wide.
      Downstairs there are five bedrooms, a combined kitchen and dining-room, one large living room, a parlor, and an entrance hall at the end where a narrow winding stairway leads to the second floor. Upstairs there is a large sitting room, and six bedrooms off the hallway. Adjoining the house in the rear is a large woodshed 32 feet long and 28 feet wide which was kept well supplied with wood throughout the year.
     During severe winters up to 75 full cords of wood heated the house.  Two large fireplaces on the ground floor are built back to back in the middle of the house. A single chimney serves these fireplaces.  Originally there were three fireplaces downstairs and one upstairs.  Later the upstairs fireplace was removed.  The irons which were used to hold the kettles for cooking and the spear used for testing the meat roasting over the fire still remain.
   Somewhat peculiar is the fact that the chimney was built first and is not attached to the house proper except where fireplaces made it necessary.  One could crawl through the attic on a a ladder attached to the chimney and work his way down to repair it. 
   Double porches extend the full length of the house.  The 10-over-10 pane windows reflect the vintage of the house. Some of the boards used in construction of the house are 24 inches wide. 
   The cellar was kept stocked with  barrels of pork, beef and large quantities of staple food.  Wheat was raised on the farm and taken to Dansville to be ground into flour. It was kept in room upstairs over the kitchen.  On these trips back and forth to Dansville Mr. Hann drove a team of oxen, leaving at 3 a.m. and returning late at night.
  The reason the house was so large was Hann and his wife, Rachel, had 10 children. The spacious bedrooms were arranged around the outside edges of the house.  Each was furnished with a head-high “clothes rail” where hooks were inserted on which to hang clothing. 
    By the time he died in 1876 at the age of 65.,  Simeon was a comparatively wealthy man for his day, being worth $60,000.  His farm had grown to 600 acres. His youngest son, Adelbert remained at home to care for his mother.  In 1884 he married Eliza Updyke and she remained there until her death in 1955. Then her daughter Rachel remained there until her death in 1958. Her son, Victor lived there until 1961. Then the property was purchased by Harold Ford of Andover. His idea was to fix it up and convert it into an inn.  The idea never materialized.
  Then Henry Argentieri of Hornell purchased it with the same idea and nothing happened. Later Mr. and Mrs. David B. Herr purchased the property and have made it their home. It is now owned by Barbara Rechenberg, a descendant of the Hann family, and her husband, Kurt.
  Since this house is very old there are many stories associated with it. It is believed it was a stagecoach stop. Folklore has it that this house was a stop on the Underground Railroad, to move slaves from the south to the north. Many members of this pioneer family are buried in the nearby Hann Cemetery.

                          The Hann Homestead now has a new lease on life
                          as a bed and breakfast.

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