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Clifton Park gives interactive history lesson

If you walk past the Cyrus Rexford house at 1643 Route 146, beware, because you may not be alone. Legend has it that Rexford's granddaughter, Hollie, haunts the home built back in 1883.

In a recent interview, [Hollie's daughter-in-law] indicated that some of the Rexfords are apparently haunting the old house, especially Hollie, said historian John Scherer in "Bits of Clifton Park History." "While living there during the 1980s and restoring the house, she said there were unexplained noises and she sensed a presence on more than one occasion."

Built by Cyrus Rexford, a wealthy leader who was one of the town's founding fathers and a captain in the New York Militia during the Civil War, the home was inhabited by Rexford family members until recent years. Hollie was said to have "quite a reputation" in the neighborhood, known to drive horses through the village at "break neck speed" hoping to be rescued by a fine gentleman.

The little-known stories behind this home and nine others in the town will be revealed during the first Historic House Tour on Sunday, May 16, from noon to 5 p.m. Hosted by the Clifton Park Historic Preservation Commission, for a donation of $10 residents can tour the interior and exterior and learn about 10 of the town's historic properties, offered up for exhibition by the current owners.

Every property has historical significance and many have tales behind them discovered only through some digging and storytelling.

The Jonesville Methodist Church at 963 Main St. was built in 1855 and replaced an earlier structure that was converted to a dormitory for the Jonesville Academy and now serves as a residence. From about 1896 until the 1960s, the church was known for its clambakes. Held Labor Day weekend, this tradition was a chance for churchgoers and the community to gather and they were highly anticipated all year, according to information gathered by Scherer.

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