At some point in the discussion of 67-71 North Fifth Street on Friday morning, Ward Hamilton commented that the house "looks like a farmhouse in Red Hook." The description of the house as a farmhouse reminded me of a little fact I discovered while researching 109 North Fifth, just up the street, for a Historic Hudson house tour a couple of years ago.
It is generally recognized that the section of Fifth Street north of State was developed later than the area of Hudson bounded by State, Allen, and Fifth streets and the Hudson River. The width of the street and the generous setbacks give the feeling of what was probably the 19th-century equivalent of suburbia. The house I was researching--109 North Fifth Street--had been built around 1870 for its first owner, Alfred Van Deusen. A year before Van Deusen bought the property, the lot was sold to Ezra Byrne, the owner of a brick yard, with the deed stipulation that the seller was "reserving the crops growing thereon."