Living in the Stockade does have its challenges, but for Ingersoll Avenue residents Steve and Cathy Boese, it’s a perfect location.
“We’re a 10-minute walk to downtown, and we have a park right next to our home and a great view,” said Cathy Boese, who moved into 32 Ingersoll Avenue eight years ago with her husband. “We did have to totally do over the house. That was a lot of work, so it wasn’t the house. It was the location that got us here. It was all the green space we have, and the view.”
The house, located at the end of Ingersoll Avenue next to Riverside Park on the Mohawk River, is one of six private homes on this year’s 55th Stockade Walkabout, set for Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
“The house was a bit of a wreck,” said Steve Boese, who did most of the rehab work himself on his home. “We used to walk down in the park and we always used to think that it’d be nice to fix it up and live there. Then, one day we went for a walk and there was a for-sale sign.”
According to the only records Boese can find, the house was built around 1900. He suspects, however, based on how it was constructed, that it’s actually a bit older. Originally a two-family home with front porches on both floors, the structure has two furnaces, both elevated and out of the basement where flood waters from the Mohawk have done considerable damage in the past.
“We have nothing of any value in our basement,” said Boese, whose home managed to get through Tropical Storm Irene in 2011 without too much damage being done. “We did have water in the house, and we had to do some rebuilding, but I don’t see us having another flood like that one for a long time.”
Aside from the repair work in 2011, the Boese’s have spent most of their eight years improving their home. They put in a new kitchen, new bathroom, new walls and new mouldings, and also added new mahogany doors and oak floors.
“If you asked us what haven’t we done to the house, that would be an easier question to answer,” said Cathy Boese. “It was totally dilapidated. But now it’s a beautiful home, and it’s actually probably too big for us because our two sons have just turned us into empty nesters. But we love it, we love looking at old houses, and we love going on the Walkabout each year even when our own house isn’t involved.”
On the second floor at 32 Ingersoll Avenue, visitors will see a view of the Mohawk River they probably haven’t seen before.
“We have a great big room upstairs with six huge windows,” said Boese. “I can sit down in the recliner and look all the way down the river to the island. Yeah, it’s the view. When we bought this house it was the worst one on the street. Now, I think it’s the best.”
When they first bought the house, Cathy Boese looked into its history. “We know that this house used to be on North Street, but it was rolled over on logs to where it is now,” she said. “There was a very large Polish family that lived here, and the head of the home was a fisherman who also sold ice from the river. There was also a seasonal candy store between the house and the river. People loved the place. It was a popular spot.”
Along with the Boese home and the six others on this year’s tour, the public will be able to see work being done at 28 Ingersoll Ave. Also, the Stockade’s three historic churches will all have open houses, as will the Schenectady County Historical Society, the YWCA of Northeastern New York, the Schenectady Civic Playhouse.
Also a part of this year’s Walkabout is the ongoing dig at 12 Union Street being conducted by the Schenectady County Community College Community Archaeology Program.
55th annual Stockade Walkabout
WHEN: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday
HOW MUCH: $20 in advance, $25 day of event (cash or check only); students $10
WHERE: Stop 1 — 19 Front St., home of Linda and Lynn Seal
Stop 2 — 24 Front St., home of Karen Canton and Keith Dayer
Stop 3 — 14 North Ferry St., Robin White, owner
Stop 4 — 213 Green St., home of Daniel Ryan; Tom Killeen, owner
Stop 5 — 237 Green St., home of Evan Euripidou
Stop 6 — 32 Ingersoll Ave., home of Cathy and Stephen Boese
Stop 7 — 11, 18 and 28 Ingersoll Ave., exteriors only, work being done by Urban Initiatives Group
Stop 8 — 32 Washington Ave., Schenectady County Historical Society
Stop 9 — 44 Washington Ave., YWCA Northeastern NY
Stop 10 — 12 South Church St., Schenectady Civic Playhouse
Stop 11 — 8 North Church St., First Reformed Church
Stop 12 — 30 North Ferry St., St. George’s Episcopal Church
Stop 13 — 209 Union St., First Presbyterian Church
Stop 14 — 12 Union St., SCCC Archaeology Excavation
Tickets available at:
• Proctor’s Box Office, 432 State St., Schenectady.
• Schenectady County Historical Society, 32 Washington Ave.
• Open Door Bookstore, 128 Jay St, Schenectady
• Nott St. Office, 2215 Nott St., Niskayuna
• Kulak’s Nursery, 1615 Rt 146, Rexford
For more information contact 374-0250, ext. 5, or visit www.schenectadyhistoric.com
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