Jim Luedke, a descendant of the Van Deusen, Smith, and Niver families, contacted us last February. He wrote: “After many decades we are liquidating our house in the Boston area and have some artifacts from Hillsdale and Copake and contemplate donating them to the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society.” A few weeks ago, we met up with Jim and gratefully accepted a variety of precious items – photographs, journals, farm ledgers, early deeds, Bain Corners Station cash box, and the ancient family bible (in Dutch) that traveled to the New World with them in the mid-1700s.
Jim’s family inhabited the Van Deusen home on Craryville Road in Hillsdale from 1774 to 1962. His forbears are buried in the Hillsdale Cemetery, Niver Burying Ground, and the Van Deusen family cemetery just behind the Van Deusen House. Though most of the contents of the house were auctioned off when the family moved in the 1960s, the Roeliff Jansen Historical Society is now the grateful custodian of the most precious material and will ensure that the Van Deusen legacy is preserved.