Built in 1798, This NY Home Offers a Heaping Helping of Space With a Side of Mystery

You remember 1798. The nation turned 22. The second U.S. president, John Adams, was enjoying his second year in office. Oh, and this house in upstate New York was built.

While it wasn't the most momentous structure built that year, historians will swoon for this centuries-old five-bedroom dwelling in Fenner, NY (a small community near Syracuse). Built "by a man named Roberts" -- as reads a note describing the home's history -- the house still features unique period details, including the original wood doors, brick flooring, and six fireplaces.

For the list price of $469,000, a buyer will get 14 acres, access to two creeks, and a 5,363-square-foot home.

The home has seen a lot in its 200-plus years: Seller John Scanlon, whose family has lived in the home for the past half-decade, says a long-ago investigation revealed a murder took place within its walls many, many years before.

The mysteries (and the history) don't stop there. Once a stop on the Underground Railroad, the home had a secret room, which could be opened by pushing a panel in the parlor. ("Ask Lydia. Susan knows," reads the note describing the room.)

Sadly, the hideout is no longer operational -- it's since been replaced by a closet -- but Scanlon says you'll find nooks and crannies throughout the home that may have also served as hiding spots for runaway slaves.

But the home isn't just for history fanatics: Do you like angling? Fishermen can cast a line into the roaring trout stream on the property. Into camping? Invite over your closest friends and circle your RVs around the decked-out pavilion in the yard, perfect for barbecuing, having picnics, or enjoying adult beverages under the night sky.

According to listing agent Sean Hagan, the only way to understand this gem of a property is to visit. "There's the constant sound of flowing water, unbelievable trout fishing, and blue herons that sit there and fish all day. It's very picturesque."

While the home is turnkey and habitable, a buyer will have a lot of work to do. Besides its windows and exterior, the home hasn't undergone a significant update since 1962. The inside is in "great shape," Hagan says, but it lacks the modern updates most buyers desire.

And if you're into breaking eggs, Scanlon thinks the place would work well as a bed-and-breakfast. Many of the large bedrooms feature a fireplace and plush carpeting. Large windows in the bedrooms overlook the property.

Downstairs, there's a wood bar, small office, and screened-in back porch.

After all, the endless expanse of yard is the home's true treasure. "It's a sportsman's dream," Scanlon says. "With the creeks and the property and the setting, there's just nothing like it." Judging by the short supply of available homes built in the 18th century, we agree that it's one of a kind.

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