Mohonk Preserve

Mohonk Preserve

Stop 10

The Trapps Mountain Hamlet Path Audio Tour:  Stop 10

Continue to Stop 11:  "Path to Spring Farm"


"Eli Van Leuven Cabin"

Here is one of the few remaining homes of the nearly vanished Trapps Mountain Hamlet. Its small size and simple, unadorned lines were typical of the Hamlet. The cabin is a plank house built in 1889 or 1890 by William Hagen and bought by Eli Van Leuven in 1898. Eli’s family occupied the house into the 1920s when the Mohonk Mountain House bought the property.

What was family life in the Trapps like during the late 1800s? A typical family was large, with many children all living in a house as small as the one you see here. Trapps men worked at a variety of jobs, including stone-cutting, charcoal-burning, cutting cord wood, and shaping hoops for barrels; they worked, too, as day laborers for the Minnewaska and Mohonk Mountain Houses. Trapps women also worked at a variety of occupations, both at home and at the local mountain hotels. At home they made butter and cheese, raised chickens, and cultivated kitchen gardens with the help of the children. Some women had hand looms on which they wove a variety of fabrics. Summertime blueberry- and huckleberry-picking was an activity for the entire family, with the sale of berries being another source of cash.

Like most Trapps houses, the Van Leuven Cabin lacked plumbing of any kind. There was no electricity, so candles and kerosene lamps were used when required. Electric and telephone lines did not reach parts of the Trapps Mountain Hamlet until the 1950s or later! In the photo, we can see how the Van Leuvens made use of the large boulder located next to their home. Using millstone-cutting methods, a large, crude shelf was fashioned, thereby producing a useful, outdoor, working surface for washing and cooking.

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