As part of our Historic Snyder Walking Tour on July 7th we will visit “The Gate House” at the corner of Main Street and Getzville Road. The owners, Caroline and William Duax have been kind enough to open their unique home to us and have even compiled some facts and thoughts for us prior to the tour. Enjoy…
The Gate House ~ by Caroline Duax
Purchasing, renovating (partial), and living in the Gate House has been and continues to be an adventure to say the least. The wide rambling house was originally two buildings (c 1820-40), and were the structures at each end as seen from Main Street. The space between them was filled by a one story shed that stood further back on the property as well as the archway that is remembered by most who view the house. This was accomplished by 1910.
The house on the right, on the east section, was occupied by the Hedstrom estate caretaker, Charlie Tong, his wife Martha, and their son. The house on the left, the west section, was occupied by the farmers who worked Hedstrom’s farm. The middle section was open in the back and housed farm and property equipment. Farming stopped around 1918 or so.
The barn behind the east house is a large structure with a beautiful second floor because of its high peaked roof. The first floor housed horses and buggies, then cars.
The area to the east of the building (now lawn and woods) was an apple and pear tree orchard. One of the remaining pear trees is next to the house, still blossoming and producing fruit, and there are a few apple trees in the wooded area.
The trolley line ran along Main St., and the last tool booth on route 5 between Buffalo and Albany stood directly in front of the west section of the house. A number of people have thought the gate house was the toll house, but that is not the case.
Arthur Hedstrom’s mansion is off Getzville Road and is completely different in style from the Gate House. Hedstrom was one of the early settlers in the area and was part of the beginning of residential development in the town. He was a philanthropist and supporter of his church and the Albright Art Gallery.
WE HOPE TO SEE ALL OF YOU ON JULY 7th