Turning Back The Pages

Update on Dr. Howard’s farm

In the Oct. 29 edition of this column, it was written that after Lawrence Murdock died in 1911 in a ditch cave-in, his body was taken to his brother’s farmhouse in North Warrensburgh where they had both resided at the “old Dr. Howard place,” about a mile north of the village. Dr. Eliakim W. Howard came to Warrensburgh in 1837 and lived on a farm north of town before he built a big house in 1840 here on Main St.

I always wondered just where exactly that farm was located.

Robert Oustecky sent me an email this week, noting that his parents bought the white farm house just north of Karl Duell’s Motel (across from the entrance to Route 28). They bought the property from Flora “Toadie” Johnson in 1962. Oustecky continued that when he was in high school, he worked for Karl Duell (the local Oldsmobile dealer) cleaning cars, pumping gas, and “babysitting” Karl’s motel next door to the garage. Oustecky asked whether his old homestead was the place where Murdock was taken after the cave-in, as he heard that a doctor was one of the previous owners.

I wish that I could answer this question with certainty, but it does makes sense that this was probably where the old Howard farm was located.

Oustecky’s mention of Karl Duell’s dealership brought back many happy memories. Karl was my husband’s closest buddy and, both immersed in the car business which they dearly loved, the two spent many happy hours together “wheeling and dealing.” Karl’s yearly big cocktail party celebrating the arrival of the new Oldsmobile in his showroom every fall was the social event of the season.

A year after a big fire in 1939, Karl built the home and garage — across from the town landfill road — which my husband purchased and lived in where he sold countless cars and mobile homes from 1953 to 1994. I arrived there in 1959 after a whirlwind courtship and wedding. I thank Oustecky for my trip down memory lane.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment