The Story of the Books at 123 Bedell Avenue

Posted by Dylan Taft on Friday, July 1st, 2016 at 2:18pm.

There is a certain type of charm that is found in older homes, with their intricate details and compelling history and if the walls of 123 Bedell Avenue in Highland NY could speak, they would certainly have some interesting tales to tell.

The home itself, a circa 1848 Colonial farmhouse has seen its fair share of history over the years, but it is the 5,000+ square foot barn that really makes a statement. Here’s a little tale from the current owners about this barn’s not so common inhabitants.



The Story of the Books at 123 Bedell Ave. Highland, New York 12528 

"The previous owners (the Sobels) of this property were book dealers from Manhattan. Their place of business was at Columbia University during the 1940’s-50’s. In 1961 they bought the property and relocated the book business to the barn. Dealing solely in academia, they bought and sold out of the barn, while adding an extension to it in 1970. They also installed heating and a commercial electrical system in the barn. They converted the bedrooms of the main house and the former workers’ cottage (chicken coop) into book storage. According to Mrs. Sobel there were as many as 250,000 books on the premises. All were housed on shelves and were systematically grouped according to subject matter. The topics included medicine, literature, the sciences, theology, humanities, foreign language and fiction.

By the time the present owners arrived, most of the books were sold. Nevertheless, Mrs. Sobel claimed that there were still 60,000 books remaining. Upon inspection, we found books from the late 19th century to the latest from the early 1990’s. Most interesting about the books is that there are first witness accounts of the World Wars, for example. And in some cases, a different perspective of world events is discovered other than what is documented in contemporary history books. Occasionally, a doctoral dissertation is found from a person who went on to do wonderful things.

For the bookworm, the curious and for the creative person, the books offer a world onto themselves. They do for us and they never cease to amaze."



If you’re looking for a piece of history, 123 Bedell Avenue has it, and now at a newly reduced price! A intricately detailed and masterfully updated colonial gem, over 8 acres of land to extend the organic farmstead to your heart’s desires and a barn full of space and exciting and intriguing mysteries around every corner; a personal haven and escape for a modern day Renaissance ‘man’, only 2 hours from New York City.

If you want to explore more of the history and whimsical details of 123 Bedell Avenue in Highland, you can find more details at the links provided below, or by calling Taft Street Realty at 845-687-9292. 


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