NY – Kingston – Stockade Historic District – Dr. Matthew Jensen House

NY – Kingston – Stockade Historic District – Dr. Matthew Jensen House
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The Matthew Jensen House, at 43 Crown Street in Clinton, is a Federal style hip roofed house referred to locally as the "House of Doctors."

It boasts sturdy limestone construction with 20-inch thick walls. Originally built circa 1700, before the Revolutionary War, British troops attempted to burn this home and much of the rest of Kingston on October 16, 1777, as punishment for the town’s role in housing and protecting the newly formed New York State government. With only the walls remaining, the home was rebuilt by 1796, as the residence of several of Kingston’s doctors, retaining one room and the front door from the original structure.

At some point in the 19th century, a small addition was added to the right side of the building and used as a doctor’s office, making it an attractive and convenient property for doctors moving into the community. The decorations that adorn the house testify to its old age–architectural components from several different eras, like cornice modillions and pediment door overhangs, are mixed in with original elements like the six-panel "Dutch Doors."

It became known as the "Ghost House" when Dr. Jansen’s fiancee disappeared and he was spied one night looking at a skeleton propped in a closet. Despite the fact that he used the skeleton to study anatomy, word spread that he’d murdered her. Even after she reappeared from a hastily taken trip aboard, his professional reputation was ruined. The annex on the right was built in the early 1800′s.

In the 20th- century, the Matthew Jansen House has been used as a print shop as well as a music studio, but has been recently restored, and is now once again used as a private residence.

Kingston Stockade Historic District National Register #75001231 (1975)