- Historic Landmarks
- Parish-Overocker House
Location: 110 Overocker Road
The present owner of the house at 110 Overocker Road has copies of deeds dating to 1834, at which time ~ Samuel L. VanVoorhis owned a tract of land divided into two parcels: 86 acres and 40 acres. VanVoorhis’ son, Peter, conveyed the 86-acre parcel of property to James Parish in 1850. Maps of this year show no house on the property, although the 1850 census shows that James Parish did live in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
It is difficult to determine the exact date that the house was built. The map of 1858 shows Thomas Parish, son of James, owning the house. Originally, then, the house was built by a Parish, either James or Thomas, between 1850 and 1858.
It is likely that the house originally consisted of the front section only and was a simple farm house. The original kitchen with beehive oven and fireplace can be seen in the basement under this part of the house.
In the books on local history, Thomas Parish is shown to have been Captain of the Grant Cavalry, a division of the Home Guard companies which were formed to protect Poughkeepsie during the draft riots in New York in 1863. He was also Grand Marshall of a Republican rally parade at the corner of Mill and Washington streets in the City of Poughkeepsie during Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1864. After the war, in-1867, Thomas is known to have been a member of Poughkeepsie’s first amateur rowing association, the Shatemuc Boat Club, which included the leading young sportsmen of the day .
In April of 1864, Thomas Parish sold the property to Daniel W. Overocker. Several years ago, Overocker’s granddaughter, Mary L. Overocker, gave some information regarding the property to the present owners. According to her, Daniel Overocker was a judge who lived in the city of Poughkeepsie and who used this property as his country house. He had four children, and it is likely that he enlarged the house to accommodate his large family. He retained the vertical board and batten siding and probably added the veranda at this time. The house and 71 acres stayed in the Overocker family until 1920. Subsequent owners include Thomas and Lulu Ireland, who purchased the property in 1922 and whose deed includes 72 acres .± and “mules, stock, tools and crops now in the ground planted”. In the early 1950’s, the property was purchased by a developer who sold the house with two acres separately and then developed the remaining property into Ireland Estates.
It is probable that there were two more additions to the house after Daniel Overocker owned it. The first would have been a kitchen on the first floor. The root cellar basement to this addition has an outside entrance. The other addition is the studio. According to the present owners, the studio. had been an out-building on the farm and was moved up to the main house. During this process, letters were found in the floor joists which indicate that the building had probably been part of the Underground railroad during the 1860’s. There is logic to this supposition, since Thomas Parish was active in Republican politics and may have been one of the supporters of the railroad.
Architecturally, the house is in the Gothic Revival style. It has vertical board and batten siding, a drip mold over some windows, a steep roof and a one-story porch on two sides. Windows are casement and the upstairs has wide-board floors.