McKown farmhouse 1950
McKown farmhouse on McKown Road; photo taken 1950
[from W. Mohr archive held by the Albany Pine Bush Preserve; contributed by Steve Rider]

Fred Abele discusses this house in articles in the Altamont Enterprise (15 May 1981; also 26 Jan 1984). He states that this Georgian-style house was built sometime between 1810 and 1820 by John McKown (1787-1870). This is inconsistent with the purchase of the land in which this house stood (the Ross Farm) by John McKown in 1824, shown by the deed dated that year. It seems plausible to us that this farmhouse was either built by McKown in or shortly after 1824, or that it was quite a bit older, being built by Daniel Ross in the late 1780's after he took the lease of the property from the Van Rensselaer Manor.
 Several generations of the McKown's lived here, the last being William McKown (1842-1924) and his family; however, it seems that in 1887 they moved, to a new house he had built at the corner of McKown Road and Western Avenue (1436 Western Avenue). Between that time and 1926, it is not known who occupied this old farmhouse, as the censuses in that interval do not identify at all clearly the location of the houses and families listed in them.
In 1926 the house and the adjoining McKown Grove were sold to William J. Knowles. His widow Margaret J. Knowles sold the property in 1947. In the 1960's it was sold to real estate "developers" who left the house unoccupied and allowed it to deteriorate; in 1970 it became, as Fred Abele remarked very accurately, a victim of demolition. The former house site is west of McKown Road, south of the west branch of the Krumkill; this can be seen marked J. McKown on the Beers map of 1866 with the northern part of the present McKown Road leading to it. It also appears, wrongly placed with respect to the Krumkill, and marked as J. McCoun, on the 1854 Gould map, but is not shown on the 1851 Sidney map.
McKownville in Beers map
Beers map of 1866 showing the area of McKownville and the location of John McKown's farmhouse on McKown Road

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