On March 28, 1851, the property of Lot 43 was conveyed to Moses and Lucinda Van Slyke.
According to genealogical records, Lucinda and Moses Van Slyke were distant cousins and descendants of Johannes Müller. Lucinda’s maiden name was Miller, as told by a direct descendant of Johannes Miller, although research has not yet resulted in their marriage records.
Moses and Lucinda had one child, a young daughter, Ellen born in 1849. While working the farm, they welcomed three more children, Alonzo (b. 1854), Roselle (b. 1857), and Matilda (b. 1860). It was in 1860, that Moses and Lucinda Van Slyke built the Greek Revival Van Slyke House on Lot 43. Moses and Lucinda had only 6 years together in their newly built home. Moses died on September 7, 1866, and is buried in the Fort Herkimer Church Cemetery.
Lucinda Van Slyke as Dairy and Farmer
After her husband’s death, Lucinda Van Slyke farmed the Lot 43 land and cared for the house. The more elaborate details on the Van Slyke house such as the recessed doorway pilasters, full entablature, sidelights with a rectangular transom, and interior molding, emphasize the ability for this prosperous farm to add enhanced Greek Revival details to the exterior and interior of the building.
During the mid to late 19th century, Harry Burrell, son of pioneer cheesemaker, Jonathan Burrell, and noted as the first prominent cheese broker in America, included the Van Slykes in his list of preferred Herkimer County dairy farmers for the area’s cheese market. It was during this time that New York state became the nation’s largest dairy producer.
Lucinda is also listed as “dairy and farmer” in the Gazetteer and Directory of Herkimer County, 1869-1870. She farmed with the help of her sons until her death in 1897. Lucinda left all of her estate and property, both real and personal, to her son Roselle Van Slyke. Roselle cared for the house and farm like his ancestors before him. In 1903, Roselle built a “modern horse barn” to add to the property and farming needs.
Roselle was listed in the Herkimer County Business Directory as a dairy farmer in 1917, as well as in the 1920 census. The following year, in January 1921, Roselle’s brother-in-law, Richard, passed away followed by his sister, Ellen’s death in August the same year. Roselle lived alone at the farm homestead until 1924 when he sold Lot 43 and his home to Peter and Pauline Nichols.
Ives, Herkimer County Cheese: The History of A Famous Industry. 21-26.
Ancestry.com. Herkimer and Otsego Counties, New York Directories, 1917 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 1999.
Online Document Search through IQS, Herkimer County Clerk, accessed April 19, 2021, https://www.searchiqs.com/NYHER/InfodexMainMP.aspx.