As an historian, one expects to be able to learn about a town. But what if the town moves? Such is the case with the hamlet of Fish House. In 1927, New York state marked out the elevation lines in preparation for the Sacandaga Lake. If a house was below a certain elevation, it either had to be moved or taken down. If that did not happen, then the house would be burned.
According to the history of Fish House, twelve houses were moved and six were razed. You would think during these turbulent years from 1927 until the dam was closed in 1930, that people would be writing about the dismantling and the destruction of their town. They did not. The house pictured above is one such case. It is a beautiful Victorian house that was labeled as the Smith Residence. The house was on what they referred to as East Main Street,,,and what is now called Old Fish House Road.
Of the twelve houses that were supposedly moved, I have located ten. I had come to the conclusion that the house above must have been destroyed...but then a fellow researcher found a newspaper clipping that said that the Smith house was "taken down and moved away". Most of the houses that were moved were relocated on a high knoll of land called Overlook Heights, which is now Ryder Road. The Smith house was not moved there.
I assume that James Henry Smith, a prominent store owner and lumber mill proprietor of Fish House built this beautiful house. J.H. Smith married Jennie Fairchild and they had two children, Alanson Page Smith and Elsie Fay Smith. J.H. Smith died in 1908 and his wife died in 1896. The house was still referred to as the Smith house in 1929 so it was probably passed down to their children. Neither of their children had children of their own, so there are no descendants that I can contact to find out about the fate of the house.
Where is this house? I keep a photo of this house in my car, so when I drive the back roads, perhaps I will find it. It is like looking for a lost dog. I actually knocked on a stranger's door,,,his house resembled the Smith house and asked him if they were one and the same, but they were not. Time is slipping away, old houses are deteriorating. I feel I will never find this house.
So if you have seen this house,,,let me know!