Fort Decker
Fort Decker is a stone house built in 1793 from the remains of the eponymous fort. It is located on West Main Street in Port Jervis, New York, USA, the oldest building in that city, which it predates by several decades. The original fort was built by a Frederick Haynes, a Dutch settler, sometime before 1760, during the French and Indian War, as an unofficial defense and trading post. It was one and a half stories high, built of stone and overlapping logs. He left the area for New Jersey around 1775, leaving the fort to his wife's family, the Deckers. On July 19, 1779, during Revolutionary War, it was burned during a raid on the settlement then known as Peenpack by pro-British Indian leader Joseph Brandt. When survivors brought news of the disaster to Goshen, the Patriot attempt to retaliate led to a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Minisink, the only major engagement of the war in the upper Delaware valley. The house was built from the remains of the fort in 1793. In 1826, it would house engineers working on the Delaware and Hudson Canal, including John Jervis, whom the city would later be renamed for. It remained in private hands as a residence from then on. In 1903, newspapers reported that the original roof was being removed, and in 1924 the building suffered partial damage from a fire. As early as the 1880s, there had been interest in using the structure as a museum. This did not become possible until 1970, when the historical society bought it for $1,000 and converted it into a museum. In 1974 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first of three buildings in Port Jervis to attain that distinction.