The Jeremiah Morehouse House, renamed the White House, at 11 Hathorn Road in Warwick, was built in 1767 and represents one of the earliest local farmhouses in this area.
It has now been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton, Mayor Michael Newhard, members of the Warwick Historical Society, Friends of Hathorn House and members of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce joined the new owners of the home along with members of the general public for a ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the new historical marker.
The celebration was hosted by owners Arek Kwapinski and Sylvia Kubasiak and the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The first part of the restorationThe National Register Website stated that given the home’s location near the already National Register-listed Hathorn Stone House, its historic relationship to Hathorn Road, an unaltered stretch of the Kings Highway and the survival of the surrounding farm landscape, the Jeremiah Morehouse House represents an important addition to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Kwapinski and Kubasiak family also purchased the Hathorn House and the White House is the first part of the restoration of the Hathorn historic area.
“We moved from the city noise to the Hudson Valley because we wanted to be surrounded by nature and wanted to have a family,” said Kubasiak. “Now we want to build our lives and future here. When Arek spotted the for sale sign on The Hathorn House the first thing we did was research the history of both homesteads. We knew this would be a long and difficult project for us, but building one’s future takes time and, in particular, we wanted to restore the homesteads to their original grandeur, so we knew it would be a major challenge for us.”
The Morehouse is now restored and ready for tourists who want to stay here while enjoying many of the activities in Warwick. And the White House can also accommodate a family with children.
“While we were researching the Morehouse,” said Kwapinski, “we were contacted by Sue Gardner from Friends of Hathorn House. Sue was able to provide extensive history on the homestead and photos as well. When we learned that the house was originally a white clapboard Georgian style, we knew we wanted to restore it as close to its original state as possible.
“Sue continually helped us with research and answering our many and constant questions,” Kwapinski added. “It took us about six months to formalize all of our ideas while we strive to respect the history of the home. After a year and a half, the first part of our major project stands completely restored and looks much like some of the original photos we saw.”
HistoryThe property came into the possession of Jeremiah Morehouse’s son George and later passed out of the Morehouse family when it was purchased by Pierson Ezra Sanford in 1871, whose father had purchased the adjacent Hathorn house around 1834. It remained in the Sanford family until purchased by Charles Walling, then shortly afterward was acquired by Wilfred L. Raynor Sr., who passed the property to his son Wilfred L. Raynor Jr.
Cindy Raynor McDonald, who grew up in the house, as well as George Eckert, a direct descendant of John Hathorn, were also at the ceremony.
‘Our community will be grateful for these entrepreneurs’Although the house was built hundreds of years ago, it now features three bedrooms, two full baths, two living rooms with fireplace, a dining room and a fully equipped new kitchen.
“Not that many years ago,” Sweeton said, “the town was faced with the imminent demise of the Col. John Hathorn house as well as the Morehouse. These historic homes were some of the earliest homes in our valley. Col. Hathorn was a patriot leader, New York State assemblyman, town supervisor and U.S. Congressman who helped shape our town and we could not afford to lose that history.
“A valiant effort was launched by Friends of Hathorn, led by Deputy Town Historian Sue Gardner,” Sweeton added, “but the challenge was immense. In stepped Arek Kwapinski and Sylvia Kubasiak who had a vision to create a historic restaurant, B&B and museum that would bring these homes back to life. It is truly a miracle and our community will be eternally grateful for these entrepreneurs.”
For additional information visit www.warwickswhitehouse.com.
– Roger Gavan
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