Lot 523

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Lot 523 is divided diagonally by Cole Hill Road, which goes from the bottom to the top of Cole Hill.

William Wright Homestead

  • 1787 survey map shows this as a 153 ac. vacant lot with no access. "This is a very poor lot, a good deal broken. It is Watered Near the East bound by a Small Brook. Beech, Maple & Hemlock Timber." (Survey Book of Stephen Van Rensselaer, NY State Archives, Cultural Building, Albany, NY)
  • 1795 On 11 May 1795 William Wright (1776-1828), [probably son of John, from Dutchess County] from "Nine Partners" Dutchess County, leased the entire 153 ac. of Lot 523. Rent 18 3/4 Bushels of wheat. 1st pay - 2 January 1803. Because of the lay of lot 523 no one could possibly have farmed the entire lot. There were only two level area. One was on the top of Cole Hill on the west half of the lot, the other was at the bottom of Cole Hill on the east half of the lot. It would not have taken William more than a year to figure out he had leased more than he could farm. It seems clear that VR released William from his contract for the full 153 ac., and re-leased the east half to Teunis Cole. William kept the lease for the western half, which was flat, useable land at the top of Cole Hill.
  • 1828 David Wright (1801-1865), son of William, inherited the land of his father.
  • 9 March 1843 he bought 75 acres, half of Lot 477, from his brother Jacob Wright.
  • < 4 Jan. 1848 the north 20 acres of the western half of Lot 523 was in the possession of John S. Wright (1783-1858), son of Samuel, who in 1808 leased the adjoining Lot 544 to the north. John's and Samuel's houses were very near each other and accessed by "Wright Lane," a long lane off Willsey Road following the lot line between Lot 522 and Lot 523.
  • 1854 map of Berne:
John Wright wasliving on the lane, and he was undoubtedly living there when he died in 1858.
Living next door to the north at the end of the lane on adjoining Lot 544 was John's son Mepheboseth. To the south in an adjoining house on the lane was his brother Richard.
  • 1866 Beers map of Berne shows J. Wright living in the William Wright House. Perhaps this is James J. Wright (1804-1872). If so, perhaps he is the son of John S. Wright, and inherited the farm when John died.
  • <1903this house is gone before 1903.

Richard Wright House

David Wright Farm

  • 1828 David Wright (1801-1865), son of William, inherited Lot 523 West Part from his father.
  • 9 March 1843 he bought 75 acres, half of Lot 477, from his brother Jacob Wright. What interest he kept in Lot 523 remains to be researched.
  • 1853 a Van Rensselaer lease records summary of Van Rensselaer Manor records at the NYS Archives says that David Wright [West Part] and Eli Miller [East Part] were leasing Lot 523.
  • 1862 in Eli Miller's will he describes the land he is leaving his widow. He says that it is bordered on the south by the land of David Wright. While actually David's land would have been to the west, to get to David's house you had to go south up Cole Hill, then west.

The Philo Bradley House ???? Willsey Road

  • 1854 map of Berne shows Philo Bradley (1795-1861), son of Joseph, living on Willsey Road. This was the birthplace of his son Joseph Bradley (1813-1892) who became a United States Supreme Court Justice.
  • 1865 census says his Charles Bradley's widowed mother and brother Theodore were also living in the house.
  • 1866 Beers map of Berne shows Charles D. Bradley (ca. 1839- ) living in the home of his father.
  • 1903 USGS map shows a house in the same location.
  • 1950 Lothar Von Haugg (1899-1980) lived in the Bradley House. He was cabinet maker and carpenter and made extensive additions and enlargements to the old house. As a consequence perhaps nothing of the original house is visible.

Teunis Cole Homestead

  • 11 May 1796 the eastern half of Lot 523 was leased by Stephen Van Rensselaer to Teunis Cole (born a. 1755 - died say 1827). The eastern half ran from the bottom of Cole Hill to the top. There were a few level acres at the base of the hill where Teunis undoubtedly built his farm house. He also cleared the hill side on the east side of Cole Hill Road from the bottom to the top to pasture his cattle.
  • 20 Feb. 1827 Teunis Cole transferred his lease to his son Minard T. Cole who worked the farm for only five years.
  • 8 March 1833 the east half of Lot 523, except for one acre, was conveyed by Minard T. Cole, to John Shultes (Deeds 44:412).
  • ~1838 John and Mary Shultes conveyed the land to Eli Miller of Berne (Albany County Deeds, 71:311). At this time the identity of John and Mary Shultes has not been determined. The 1830 census indicates that Eli Miller (1800-1852), son of William, was living with his family in Berne.
  • 1852 Eli Miller's will left the everything to his wife.
  • 1854 map of Berne shows the Widow Miller (Anna Barton) living just to the west of Cole Hill Road.
  • 1855 census shows the frame house had little value-
  • 1865 the house had been rebuilt or replaced with a more substantial frame house. Anna continued to live there until her death.
  • 1893 Anna Barton Miller she left the farm to her son Sanford.
  • 1903 USGS map shows the Eli Miller farmhouse still standing. At this time it is unknown who lived there.
  • 1905 federal census for Berne shows Sanford Miller (1847-1913) living on Jug Street, in the hamlet of Berne.
  • 1913 Sanford Miller left the family farmland to his son Andrew (1883-1946).
  • 1946 Andrew Miller's wife Christina Lendrum became sole owner.
  • 19?? Christina Miller sold the land to William T. Rauch.
  • ca. 1948 - ca.1965 a small ski-lift call Ski Land was operated by William T. Rauch on the land of Christina Miller which he rented. He later bought the land.

Eli Miller Family Burying Ground

  • 1852 Eli Miller was were buried on the farm.
  • 1893 Eli's wife Anna Barton Miller was buried beside him. Their graves are the only two stones in the burying ground on the east side of Cole Hill Road at the foot of the hill.