The Maples is a historic house located on 108 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck, New York, United States. It was built in the 1830s in the Greek Revival style. Three decades later its exterior was remodeled, adding some decoration in the Picturesque mode.
It is currently used for medical offices, taking advantage of the proximity of Northern Dutchess Hospital across the street. In 1987 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Maples is located on a grassy 1.7-acre (6,900 m2) lot, with tall shade trees, on the residential west side of Montgomery Street in the northern portion of the village, just across from the hospital complex. There is a shed to the rear, and a laid stone wall along the front of the property. Both are considered contributing resources to its listing on the National Register.
The main house is a two-story, five-bay frame building on a raised fieldstone foundation. The gabled metallic roof has cornice returns and is pierced by four chimneys at the corners. The eastern (front) facade has a full-length flat-roofed veranda with cornice bracketry and scroll-sawn segmentally-arched knee braces. Small Palladian windows are located in the gable apexes on the north and south, with two quarter-round attic windows on either side.
On the west is a large two-story wing added later. It has a gabled roof of lower pitch than the main block, and bracketed cornices on the north and south elevations. A small one-story shed-roofed wing projects from the north.
The main entrance is centrally located, a recessed and paneled door flanked by fluted pilasters with Doric capitals. It leads to a center hallway where some original trim remains, including a late Federal mantelpiece in the southeast parlor and original woodwork on the windows. A curving stairase, also original, leads up to the second story. Most of the interior has been remodeled into office space and examining rooms.
Outside, the shed to the southwest is a flushboard and clapboard-sided one-story frame building. Its gabled roof is trimmed with a scalloped pattern. The stone wall in front with central gate posts is also an original feature of the property.
There is little in the historical record on the house's builders and original owners. Local tradition has it that a farmhouse stood on the site in the early 19th century when it was sold to a Jeffrey H. Champlin. The house's construction date is established by its cornerstone. In 1850, a map of Rhinebeck shows Champlin still owning the house.
In 1867, an H.E. Welcher is listed as the owner. It is believed that he was responsible for the Picturesque exterior renovations, a common trend in Rhinebeck at the time. Among the documented later owners was William Vincent Astor.
Additional Information that may be helpful in tracing the ownership of The Maples:
The Maples, the former gracious home of William Astor, father of John Jacob Astor, a circa 1833 Greek Revival building listed on National Register is located in Rhinebeck village.
"We aren’t sure when Jeffrey Hazard moved from Rhode Island to Dutchess County, New York. His father, Thomas, is said to have moved there sometime after 1878, which would have been before the end of the War when Jeffrey was still a youngster. Some records claim that Jeffrey’s twins, George and Ellis, were born in Rhode Island, which would mean he was still there in 1802. Other records say they were born in Rhinebeck, New York, where they family settled and lived out their days. That suggests he could have moved to New York many years earlier."
Jeffrey Hazard was about 23 years old when he married a 17-year-old named Delight Wilbour (or Wilbur, or Wilbor). Again, records are in conflict about whether Delight and her younger sister Prudence were born in Rhode Island or Dutchess County. The year after the marriage, Delight died (1795). It is possible her death was related to childbirth, but we do not know. The following year, Jeffrey married her sister Prudence, who could not have been more than 17 herself at that time.
When Jeffrey and Prudence’s first baby was a boy, they named him Hazard. He would father nine children and live to the age of 72. When Hazard was 2½, a baby sister was born. I like to think it was her mother who gave her the name Delight in honor of her lost sister—not Jeffrey naming his daughter after his first wife. Three and a half years later, in November 1802, twins George and Allis joined the family. A brother John was born in 1808.
We have the following account from Bob Champlin about Jeffrey:
"Jeffrey became a wealthy man in Rhinebeck and was made a Trustee of the Rhinebeck Methodist Church on June 2, 1829…. In the late 1700s, [he] built an estate referred to over the years first as the “Old Homestead” and later as “The Maples.” The property was located along the Old Post Road north of the village and consisted of 135-150 acres plus the mansion. Jeffrey sold it to a Mr. Upton who in turn sold it to Henry Welcher, who sold it to John van Wagner, who sold it to John Woods, who sold it to John Wilbour Champlin (son of Jeffrey). The property then passed from Champlin hands for good when John sold it to Mr. Griffen Hoffman. He sold the land to a Mr. Ingalls, who later sold it back to him. Hoffman then sold the property to William Astor whose son, legendary financier John Jacob Astor, once wrote that as a small boy growing up in Rhinebeck, he had often fantasized being wealthy enough to be able to own this building—and he eventually did.
This gives us an idea of the childhood of the five children growing up in the town of Rhinebeck on the east side of the Hudson River. When they reached adulthood Hazard married Mary Ann Plass, and George married Susan Underwood. Both Delight and Allis married men whose last names were Champlin. John married someone named Jane Van Allen, but that is all the information we have about him, other than his buying the family estate back at one point.
Additional Notes of Ownership:
On Section 22, Portion of Dutchess County, 1891 Map by Watson & Co. shows "The Maples" owned by William Astor, born 1829 and died 1892. At some point, between Wm. Astor's death and the death of Lorenzo Decker's death, 1900, the property was sold to Decker.
DECKER, Lorenzo 9-28-1900
Died at his res. Rhinebeck "The Maples" Sunday. Former Prop, of Rhinebeck Hotel.
Political journalist Richard Rovere, born in Jersey City, New Jersey (May 5, 1915), also owned The Maples, where he raised his family. In 1944, he was hired by The New Yorker, where he would remain for the rest of his life. Each month, he wrote the column called "Letter from Washington" from his home in Rhinebeck, New York.
Found in the Rhinebeck Gazette Vol. CXIV No. 8 RHINEBECK, NEW YORK, JUNE 18, 1959
The Gazette received an advanced copy of Richard H. Rovere's latest book, "Senator Joe McCarthy," from Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc. The book Is both an analytical biography and a memoir, as well as a commentary on the American political scene. Mr Rovere, who was often an eyewitness observer of the events he describes, lives at 108 Montgomery Street in Rhinebeck.