Lot 614

From Helderberg Hilltowns of Albany County, NY
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Wood Farm

Address: 28 Stranahan Lane

  • ~ 1740 Piter Fischer probably homesteaded this farm. About 1750 he married Dorothea Ball, whose father, Peter, may have had the next farm to the west. They were among the earliest settlers in Beaver Dam (now Berne), and settled on choice valley land.
  • 1787 survey map shows ....
  • 1789 or earlier may have been when the current house was built by Johannes Fisher, son of Piter.
  • 1790 it was the site of the first official meeting of the new Town of Rensselaerville which then included what is now the Towns of Knox and Berne. Johannes Fisher was an innkeeper and he had a store. Farmers bringing their grain to Weidman's gristmill would buy supplies and spend the night before making the long journey home.
  • 1790 census for Rensselaerville lists Fisher as one of the few local families to own slaves. It was generally the earliest settlers, who had settled on the best valley land, who were prosperous enough to afford them. See Slavery in Berne for a more complete discussion of this topic.
  • ~1810 Johannes Fisher or his son Jacob Fisher built a large, one-room brick building to house their three slaves, plus those of travelers staying in his inn. Conveniently located behind it is an outdoor brick beehive oven. There are slaves buried in back of the nearby Wood Family Burying Ground.
  • 1826 slavery was outlawed in New York State. The slave quarters and oven still exist. Euretha Wolford Stapleton, former Town Historian, said it was a stop on the Underground Rail Road in Berne that helped run-away slaves reach their freedom farther north or in Canada.
  • 1854 map of Berne of Berne shows J. Wood living in The Johannes Fisher House and also a J. Wood in the Jacob Fisher house across the road, built in 1829 by the son of Peter Fisher b. 1779. Perhaps John M. Wood, of Dutchess County, owned them both. Col. Wood moved to Berne before his marriage in 1832.
  • 1855 census indicates John M. Wood was not a property owner, Berne Historical Society records say that his young son, Thomas, inherited a portion of Col. Wood’s farm in the 1840’s.
  • 1866 Beers map of Berne shows P. J. Wood in both houses. This was actually Thomas J. Wood, son of John.
  • 1878 the Cheese Factory Association built a cheese factory nearby on land given them by Tom Wood.
  • 20th Century the house went to a niece of Wood---Shultz?
  • Stranahan,
  • Current owners: John and Linda Clemmer.