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July 11, 2013

House where Cooper wed is in danger

Local woman leading campaign to save DeLancey House

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Because it has been moved, from the top of the hill to the bottom, the DeLancey House does not qualify for the National Register of Historic Places and is not protected from being torn down.

“Once it comes off its historic footprint, it no longer qualifies for the historic registry,” Akin said.

Moving the house again is the best chance to save it, Akin said. According to her estimates it will cost about $350,000 to move the house. By contrast, buying the property would cost more than a million dollars. The current owners have indicated that they would donate the house if the money could be raised to move it.

“They have said we have first crack at it,” Akin said. “We would just like the opportunity to save it.”

Akin said she has reached out to the Mamaroneck Historical Society and to her local government officials, including her state senator, George Latimer. 

“I told them what I wanted to do and their response has been ‘go for it,’” she said. “There’s been a lot of support and a lot of good ideas.”

On Saturday, Akin will have a table at the Otsego County Conservation Association’s Lake Festival to highlight the efforts to save the house, and ask for help and donations. The Mamaroneck Historical Society will hold a silent auction fundraiser on Oct. 3; they are hoping to auction items related to Cooperstown, such as tickets to museums or shows, coupons for food or lodging or anything else with a value of more than $30.

Volunteers can also get involved by calling Akin at  547-8698 or by visiting the society’s website at mamaroneckhistory.homesteamd.com.

“I just love Cooperstown, and I love anything James Fenimore Cooper related,” Akin said. “To me, James Fenimore Cooper is not only an iconic figure, but a great American author. We have his family and Cooperstown to thank for him.

“It is hard to do something remotely, and it is hard to get people interested in saving something which is 200 miles away. I hope people will see that this is a very worthy cause. Mamaroneck is connected to Cooperstown in this way,” she added. 

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