18 thoughts on “The Depue and Kinney Farms

  1. These photos of Depue grounds look great.
    Just want to know how you got there. Is it left off of Old Mine Rd. on Hamilton Ridge.
    Is it only walkable to get there or can we take a care far in?

    ANy info would help as I plan a Photography Trip this coming Sunday at the gap.

    Bryan Loesch

  2. Hi, Brian. You have to walk out Hamilton from Old Mine. It isn’t far. You pass the Depue cemetery on the left as you head out, and that is also worth a stop for a photography expedition. Look for the small blue sign on a tree on the left. I should also mention that these images are 4 years old at this point. I think the last time I was out there was about three years ago. The park service undertook to begin demolishing some of the properties in the worst condition in the park, so I don’t know whether these structures are still there, or in the same condition that they were in on my last visit. Have fun!

  3. Found it yesterday, two houses are still standing, but roped off with orange construction fences. The car and bus still sitting there surrounded by piles of metal and trash. The house’s brush are all cleared away giving you a overall image of the house. Looks like they might not last much longer, with the bulldozers sitting around.
    Over all great hike and search, thanks for the info.

  4. Glad you guys enjoyed yourselves. If you get out there again you should continue out Hamilton to the end. There is a significantly older ruin on the left just before you get to the power lines, and the road terminates in a nice little grove of pines by the river. Nice spot for a picnic lunch :).

  5. I don’t know specifically, Marsha. The farm is labeled as “Depew” on the 1888 Cook survey map of the area, but that is essentially all I know. Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Hi, Mark. I spoke with you many years ago regarding these sites that I grew up visiting. I took a trip up there in April 2011 and they were in a terrible state. I read the comments stating that they may have since been torn down. If you or any of your readers have been out that way more recently please let me know if they have. If so, I truly regret not stopping by for one last visit.

  7. Hi, Brandy. Yes, they were in a pretty poor state even before then, and I assume the park service did not assign any particular value to them from an historical point of view. I haven’t been back to that spot in a long time, but I have heard from someone else that at least one of the structures was demolished. I’ll have to take a ride up that way and have a look. I’ve been in a few other spots in that area recently, and the overall deterioration since Irene and Sandy is marked, especially as regards the Shoemaker Farm and a couple of other formerly very beautiful properties. It’s sad, but I guess unavoidable.

  8. Thank you for the quick and informative response! Perhaps I’ll take the ride up this summer. Last I was there you could barely enter the larger house. The main floor had clearly been damaged by the collapse of the second floor. There was a gaping hole above the fireplace, through which you could see directly into the gorgeous windowed room upstairs. It was bound to happen eventually, unfortunately. However, I’m still sad to hear that they may be gone forever. I’ll let you know their status if I make out there soon. Also, if you’re interested in seeing the pictures from my last trip I’d be happy to share.

  9. I photographed the lower floor of that house about five years ago, but even then I was not willing to trust the upper floors. If you do visit and would like to share some pics please feel free to reply here with a link to an album. Have fun.

  10. Hi,
    My family is from the Amenia/Millbrook area and I would like to visit the Kinney farm. Can you give me directions? Thanks. Henry

  11. Hi, Henry. The two properties I described were located off of Hamilton Trail. Here is a Google map link:


    Both farms were located not far past the second bend. There are a couple of things to bear in mind, however. First, I called these properties the “Depue and Kinney” farms because those names appear on an old (1880’s, I believe) survey map of the area. When I visited them they had been in park hands for at least 35 years. I don’t know when they were last inhabited or put to use, but I would guess in the 70’s or 80’s. I also don’t know when Kinneys or Depues last lived on them. That may well have been a long time ago. Second, it’s possible both properties have been demolished. The NPS knocked down some of the less safe homes, and I believe they have plans to knock down more. When I looked at the Google satellite images tonight I was not able to see the house, which had previously been clearly visible, so it may be gone. In any case, it’s a nice walk and if you continue past the two farms there are some older colonial era ruins on the left just before you cross the power line right of way. Once past the power lines the trail ends in a beautiful glade by the Delaware. Perfect for a picnic. Have fun. Oh, by the way, if the houses are still there I caution strongly against entering them. All of those old structures up in the gap are very dangerous.

  12. I find it frustrating to see this rural farm life disappear and all evidence of it made to disappear.
    Seems NJ history doesn’t matter to anyone.

  13. I last remember a Myna Haefle (sp.) living back in there. I believe she was a relative of the Hamilton family. I also vaguely remember a gentleman living in the smaller home for a time. It’s been a long time. I worked with the park service as a maintenance employee and as a ranger for a total of 32 years from 1973 to 2010. We used to plow the snow from the road in my early career. It once was a grand estate. Also, someplace near the graveyard, there is an old two section foundation. Each section is constructed of different type stone as I remember. One of the early historical accounts (sorry, I can’t remember which) mentions a fort near there that was constructed similar to that foundation.

  14. Name * If this is the Old DePue House that I am writing about today. Part of the history states: In the midst of the wonderful picture is the summer house of Mrs. L. E. Schoonmaker, who owns the Old DePue House in record that we are coming to shortly. We will keep to the straight road and worry down to the Rondout at Accord. Here stands the Old DePue House on a brook that the map tells us of Peter’s Kill but which is locally known as Monesauling Creek. The Old DePue House is about 200 year-old, built by Moses Nicholas DePuy who came to Rochester a boy in 1662 from Artois, France. He bought property of the Indians, and it has never since been out of the family. Katie DePue being the last to actually occupy the old house and died January 31, 1884.

  15. Hi Mark, it’s been many years since we last spoke. I hope you are doing well! My family and I took a home out to the store of the old houses this past weekend finally. I don’t know the least time you were out that way, but sadly, they are both long gone. If we didn’t know the area so well it would have even been easy to miss the spot where they used to stand. There is still a “clearing” filled with new growth now. But the trees in the back were instantly recognizable. We had to walk far around to reach them. It was surreal to stand at the site where the larger house once stood. There’s a big bush directly in the middle and it’s clearly a spot often frequented by bears. We didn’t stick around too long without the protection of those old walls. But my husband did take some pictures. Let me know if you’d like to see. All in all it was a bittersweet moment. We were glad we finally made it back after all these years.

  16. Hi, Brandy. I have not been back there in quite a few years, but I am not surprised to get your report. I recall a few years back hearing that the NPS was determined to take down some of the more deteriorated structures. Thanks for the note, and for stopping by.

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