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The “Leaning House”

From The Sullivan County Democrat:  ‘Halsey Corners’ Home: Many people have passed this dwelling at the corner of 17B and Route 115 in Bethel (Pucky Huddle Road) and wondered how soon it will succumb to gravity. Its legacy as part of the Halsey Corners of West Bethel is nearly forgotten, because it likely had its beginning well over a century ago. In 1984, Bethel Historian Beatrice Schoch wrote: “According to Mr. Ralph MacArthur, who owns this building and in whose family it has been for many years before the little building was built, this was never a toll house. It was a wash house behind the barns that were used as a way station for teamsters hauling a distance too great for one team or without a rest. It was moved where it is now about 1900 and used for some years as a home.” The Halsey Inn, which stood across from this on 17B, was reportedly owned by two of Mr. MacArthur’s aunts at one time; his mother was a Halsey before marriage. In the 1850 U.S. census, David Halsey is listed as an innkeeper in Bethel, and the inn is depicted across the road on the 1856 Gates map and the 1875 Beers Atlas. The late Callicoon historian Charles S. Hick wrote in the Sullivan County Record in 1944 about the Halsey Four Corners (as the intersection had been known), adding that they were also known sometimes as the McArthur Four Corners: “Many of you remember the ruins of the old tavern and the numerous barns that were a part of the es­tablishment… Here the horses on the turnpike stage coach were changed at that time and the passengers were provided with meals [at the hotel]… Every one was served with a meal, fresh horses were hitched to the coach, and every one was on his way with as little loss of time as possible.



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