“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Hudson in Columbia County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)


Barnyard Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, May 17, 2020
1. Barnyard Marker
In the 1860s and 1870s, Church transformed a poor, one-family farm into a 19th-century gentleman's farm. He did not plan to make a living from the farm, but expected it to run efficiently. He and Isabel took great pride in the farm operation. Special gifts of produce preserves flowed from their country home, known as "the farm” until the late 1870s, when the name Olana was applied to all 250 acres. Farm life remained central to the Churches' lifestyle and to the property's sense of place into the 20th century.

The farm buildings provided shelter for the farm animals, which included cows, horses, a pair of oxen, donkeys, chickens, turkeys, pigeons, geese, and a few beef cattle. The Olana orchards produced plums, apples, pears, apricots, cherries, and peaches. Berry beds and arbors produced raspberries, strawberries, and grapes. Hay, rye, and corn were planted in selected fields.

The harvest produced a cash crop to support the farm as well as fruits and vegetables for the family's table. Church used a salaried farm manager to run the farm with full- and part-time help. Thomas Cole's son Theodore is known to have
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served in this capacity for over 10 years. Farming was abandoned here in the late 1940s; many of the farm buildings were removed in the early 1950s.


This 1906 photograph by John Eberle, shows Mike, one of Olana's farmhands, husking corn. Planting and harvesting were part of the cycle of the farmer's life throughout the Hudson Valley.

This 1906 photograph by John Eberle shows farmhands Haver (left) and Mike (right) threshing the seed from the harvested rye. Mike is holding a flail used to beat the rye from the straw.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureArts, Letters, Music. A significant historical year for this entry is 1906.
Location. 42° 12.796′ N, 73° 49.706′ W. Marker is near Hudson, New York, in Columbia County. Marker can be reached from Olana State Historic access road, 0.6 miles north of New York State Route 9G, on the right when traveling north. The marker is at Olana State Historic Site near the Lake and Garden parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Hudson NY 12534, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kitchen Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); Cosy Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Icehouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Brezie Farm (about 400
Barnyard Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, May 17, 2020
2. Barnyard Marker
feet away); Woodshed (about 400 feet away); Studio and Viewshed (approx. 0.2 miles away); House and Environs (approx. ¼ mile away); Columbia County (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hudson.
Regarding Barnyard. Frederic Church was a member of the Hudson River School of painting. He achieved success very early in his career and was able to purchase this farm in 1860 that he eventually transformed into Olana, using the landscape as a canvas. Church’s home is now a state historic site.
Also see . . .
1. Church’s World. (Submitted on May 19, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
2. Olana and the Landscape. (Submitted on May 19, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 19, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 130 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 19, 2020, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 23, 2024