In our continuing efforts to learn more about the history of our new home, yesterday Carol and I attended the Rhubarb Festival at the Nellis Tavern. The Nellis Tavern sits between St. Johnsville and Nelliston on HWY 5. It was originally built by the Nellis family, Palatine Germans who had fled to this country after repeated invasions from France. The house was built as a block (fortified) farmstead something like Fort Klock, with a stone house and mill on the site, around 1747. The original buildings were replaced by the current structure in the early 1780’s and it served as a tavern and inn along the Mohawk River. It remained a tavern and private home through most of the 19th century before the building was abandoned around 1950. It has since been taken over by the Palatine Settlement Society, which is overseeing its restoration.
This picture shows the restoration of the original wall stenciling that decorated the tavern. The right side of the picture shows the original stenciling over plaster, sort of like wall paper without the paper. As you can see, the restoration follows the original very closely.
Here’s a closeup of the exterior, front. I don’t have any good pictures of the interior, but it was crowded and difficult to get any good shots. We plan to go back and have a regular tour of the place now that the Rhubarb Festival fundraiser is over. As for that, we had Raspberry-Rhubarb upside down cake. It was delicious.