Scenic Hudson has given up part of its Illinois Mountain preserve, and the entire Town of Lloyd is likely to benefit from the transaction. The parcel in question is just a couple of acres, but it includes the Deyo-Schantz-Gaffney house, an historic 18th-century residence which is now on track to become the headquarters for the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society. Speaking at the July 15 Town Board meeting, supervisor Paul Hansut noted that preservation society members are already hard at work to restore the building, which will house exhibits and offices for the group. The house and adjacent 18th-century Dutch barn are said to be among the oldest buildings in the town, making the site an ideal one for educating people about Lloyd’s history.
To hear preservation society president Charles Glasner speak about it, this is a dream come true. “The board of trustees and members of the society are extremely grateful to Scenic Hudson for this opportunity,” he said in a statement. “We have long dreamed of preserving a significant site that would highlight the area’s history of entrepreneurship and agriculture —- this site does that, and more. As we remove the modern ‘improvements,’ we expose the historic architectural fiber of the building. In addition, the stories of the occupants, beginning in the early 18th century into the early 1950s, are coming to life.”
Scenic Hudson acquired the structures in 2009 when it secured 242 acres on the flanks and summit of Illinois Mountain for public enjoyment, the group said in a statement released about the deal. Since then, it has acquired an additional 90 acres that has been added to the preserve. The nature preserve itself will remain under Scenic Hudson’s purview. The restoration of the historic buildings, including environmental reviews needed to obtain approvals needed for that work, will be the responsibility of the preservation society.
The transaction moves the land from one not-for-profit organization to another, having no impact on the town’s tax rolls. It also allows each organization to focus on its strengths, as noted by Steve Rosenberg, Scenic Hudson’s Land Trust executive director. “By donating these landmarks to the Town of Lloyd Historical Preservation Society, we’ve guaranteed they’ll provide a fitting place for current and future residents to learn about their town’s heritage. Under the society’s care and stewardship, the site also can become a new attraction for visitors to learn about the region’s history,” he said.