The Stewart Farm house and family

The Stewart House

circa 1881 - 1891

The Stewart Farm

Columbia County farmers were doing well in the late 19th century as the Harlem Division railroad opened up the New York milk market. The Stewart Farm is one of many farms illustrated in “History of Columbia County, New York. / With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers” published in 1878.

The Stewart Place in 1878 Col. Co. History

Residence of W. D. Stewart, Chatham N. Y., History of Columbia County, pg 284


Who Are These Folks?

Mom clipped a note to the back of the photo in which she identifies Betsy Stewart on the left and William Stewart, Betsy’s son, 2nd from left. She didn’t identify the others. I’m guessing the woman standing in front of William is not his wife as the Stewart monument in the New Concord Cemetery where he and his parents are buried does not include an inscription for a wife. Betsy was my great-great-grandfather Lorenzo Goodrich’s sister. Betsy died October 10, 1891 ten years after the tragic death of her husband, William D. Stewart (see below), which I think dates this picture to that ten year time frame. Betsy’s son William died 2-1/2 years later on April 5, 1894.

Why does Betsy appear to have some kind of head covering pulled down over her face in this picture? What’s that all about?

The Stewart Place house and family

Mom's Note - Obverse

On the back of her note she has done a little calculation and a note indicating her father, Frederick L. Goodrich, came to live here when he was 16 in 1895, a year after William died. His grandfather, Lorenzo Goodrich bought the farm in January 1895 from William’s estate and I think grandpa's father, Frederick C. Goodrich, and his family moved here about that time to work the farm.

The Stewart Place house and family

Mom's Note - Reverse

Grampa died a few days after his 80th birthday in 1959.

The Home Farm

I grew up here. To me this is the home farm.

Dad bought the farm in 1945 from an estate on my mother’s (Goodrich) side and we moved there when I was two years old. This house had burned in the 1920’s I think (Mom said she saw it burn) and we lived in what we called “the little house” in the back yard until Dad built the new house on the old foundation in 1950. The little house was a converted wood shed and was quite primitive. We shared that tiny house with Dad’s father, Grampa Jim, who lived with us until he died in November 1950.

The new house is smaller than the Stewart house. Dad built a new, smaller, Cape Cod style house inside the old foundation, using the old cellar walls as forms for the outside of the new concrete walls. This resulted in a 24 x 36 ft foundation. I’m guessing the Stewart house was more like 28 x 40 ft.

The Barns

The Stewart Place barns

The Stewart Barns

I remember a date carved into a beam in the scale room of the hay mow: 1868. I took that as the date the barn was built and architecturally that seems about right. From this picture and the one of the house which shows a bit of the barn up on the bank across the road it looks like the whole farm complex was built at about that time.

Fatal Accident

Fatal Accident

“William Darvin Stewart, a well-known and prosperous farmer residing near this village lost his life by a most deplorable accident last Thursday evening. He passed the day at the Great Barrington fair, looking over the stock in which he took great interest. On alighting from the train at the depot in this village he was met by his son, who came to meet him with a carriage, drawn by a valuable and favorite span of horses.”

“When Mr. Stewart and his son reached home they hurriedly unhitched the team from the carriage and hooked them up to a hay rigging intending to draw in a load of corn. While the horses were being thus transferred, Mr. Stewart stood before them. When he turned to go toward the house the animals started to follow him. Mr. Stewart thought his son was directing their movements and therfore stepped further aside. The team continued their efforts and while moving away from them Mr. Stewart was pushed over by the horses, and fell to the ground. Two wheels of the heavy vehicle passed over his body, crushing the lower ribs and breaking one from its attachment to the spinal column and detaching the from its cartilage. The injured man was helped into the house by his wife and son. Apparently his injuries were not serious ones, although during the night he suffered considerable pain. On Friday medical assistance was obtained but the sufferer went almost immediately into a comatose state. He did not regain consciousness, and died about 8 o’clock in the evening.”

“Mr. Stewart was in his 79th year and had lived about 40 years on a farm located on the road between this village and Red Rock. He was an energetic and skillful agriculturist, and an active and valued member of the Farmers’ Club. He devoted much attention to the care and breeding of stock and his choice herd of Durhams has received considerable attention. About 25 years ago he married a daughter of Jesse Goodrich of West Stockbridge, Mass.”

The Chatham Courier, October 5, 1881

A Rich Farmer Goes Crazy.

A Rich Farmer Goes Crazy.

William G. Stewart, a wealthy farmer residing in the vicinity of Red Rock, town of Chatham, was taken to the Hudson River State Hospital a few days ago. He is violently insane, having purchased a dirk knife for the purpose of killing several persons in Chatham who had done him a fancied wrong.

The Republican, Hudson N. Y., February 1, 1894 pg2

In the matter of the estate of William D. Stewart, late of the town of Chatham, deceased, an order was entered in surrogate’s office last week revoking letters testamentary heretofore issued to William G. Stewart of said town.

The Chatham Courier, Chatham N. Y., February 7, 1894 pg4

The rumor which was current on the streets last week to the effect that William Stewart was dead, was groundless. Mr. Stewart is still in the Poughkeepsie insane asylum, and his condition remains about the same as when first committed there.

The Chatham Courier, Chatham N. Y., February 14, 1894 pg4

NOTICE TO CREDITORS.—Pursuant to the order of Hon. Isaac N. Collier, Surrogate of the County of Columbia, notice is hereby given, according to law, to all persons having claims against William G. Stewart, late of the town of Chatham, in the County of Columbia, deceased, they are required to present the same with vouchers thereof to the subscribers, Administrators of said deceased, at the law offices of McClellan & Dardess at Chatham, N. Y., on or before the 1st day of January next.

Dated, June 2 1894.




The Chatham Courier, Chatham N. Y., September 26, 1894 pg7

Sale of Real Estate

On Monday morning occurred the sale, at the law office of McClallans & Dardess, of four parcels of real estate to settle the estate of the late William Stewart who resided near Red Rock. The parcels consisted of the homestead which sold for $4500, the Cyprian Powell farm which brought $1100, a tenement house on the home farm $150, a six acre piece of land known as the Thomas Roach wood lot $50, a total of $5800. Lorenzo J. Goodrich purchased all. $5800 for these parcels seem a very low price, quality of land and buildings considered.

The Chatham Courier, Chatham N. Y., January 30, 1895 pg4

Lorenzo Goodrich, who has been seriously ill, is on the gain.

The Chatham Courier, Chatham N. Y., April 6, 1898 pg4

Jesse Goodrich has moved from Chatham Centre to the farm of his father, Lorenzo J. Goodrich.

The Chatham Courier, Chatham N. Y., April 13, 1898 pg4

Well Known Farmer Dead

Lorenzo J. Goodrich, a well known and highly respected farmer, died at his home between Chatham village and Red Rock on New Year’s day. A few days before while climbing into his wagon he was stricken with paralysis and fell between the wheels. He did not rally from the shock and passed away in the 78th year of his age. His funeral will be held Sunday at 11 a. m.

The Columbia Republican, Hudson N. Y., January 10, 1901 pg6

NOTICE TO CREDITORS—Pursuant to the order of Hon John V Whitbeck Surrogate of the County of Columbia notice is hereby given, according to law to all persons having claims against Lorenzo J Goodrich late of the town of Chatham in the County of Columbia, deceased, that they are required to present the same with the vouchers thereof to the subscribers the administrators of &c of the said deceased at the law office of McClellan & Dardess, Chatham N. Y. on or before the 20th day of July next

Dated, Jan 10 1901

Jesse D Goodrich

Frederick C Goodrich


McClellan & Dardess,

Attorney for Administration

The Chatham Courier, Chatham N. Y., May 1, 1901 pg3

Dan Lamoree, who lives on the old Lorenzo Goodrich farm about two miles below Red Rock, is ill with diphtheria and the house is quarantined.

The Chatham Semi-weekly Courier, Chatham N. Y., April 5, 1905