The Nelson Preservation Associates plans to acquire the property at 3307 Route 20 in Nelson, also known as the former Magee Auction House and Antique Shop. NPA plans to renovate the buildings and install a restaurant, updated apartments and other businesses.
The building was constructed circa 1804 and is eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It originally served as a tavern stop for drovers on the Cherry Valley Turnpike that had opened just a few years earlier.
Over its history, the building has been a hardware store, a post office and a feed store. The building retains a high degree of architectural integrity to its period of construction.
“One of the things that defines Nelson’s unique physical character is the era in which the communities of Erieville and Nelson were established,” Nancy Demyttenaere, NPA president, said. “They were transportation corridors and principle stops for stagecoaches and supply wagons headed both east and west that fed Albany and New York City.”
NPA seeks to preserve that legacy and to build on the growing revitalization in Nelson, which includes the recent addition of Nelson Farms’ tasting room; the opening of Mad Tacos, which since its opening Sept. 23, has sold more than 40,000 tacos; and the Route 20 traffic and sidewalk improvement project.
Grants are available to help fund renovation projects, but not to assist with acquisition of the property. To that end, NPA is asking the community for help in reaching the goal of raising enough money to purchase the property. An open house will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020. The public is invited to attend, view the property for themselves and discuss future plans with members of the NPA Board of Directors.
“We need the public’s support for this vision to become reality,” Demyttenaere said. “Without that support, our community may lose a piece of its history that has stood for more than 200 years.”
Historic photos, the preservation plan, and more information are available at olddroverstavern.com. Donations may be made at gofundme.com for Old Drovers Tavern.