Bethlehem Historical Association
Beaverdam Road, Selkirk
The Schoonmaker house, erected in the 1860s, is architecturally significant as a distinctive example of Italianate style residential farm architecture. Stylistically, the house is a traditional transitional interpretation of the Italianate idiom, incorporating elements of both the waning Greek Revival style and the Italianate styles.
The Schoonmaker house, with its intact form, floor plan, interior finishes, moldings and hardware retains a remarkably high degree of integrity. The house with its intact rural setting recalls the mid-nineteen century development of Bethlehem and stands as one of the community’s significant architectural landmarks.
(The above is paraphrased from the house’s National Register nomination form.)
The Schoonmaker family is associated with many imposing brick houses in town. Early settlers are husband and wife pairs Peter Schoonmaker & Neltie VanderLinde and Jacobus Schoonmaker & Elizabeth Ecker who turn up in the First Reformed Church of Bethlehem’s records in 1798. Peter and Jacobus are likely brothers. The 1866 Beers map of Bethlehem has nine different Schoonmakers noted in the vicinity of Beaver Dam, Clapper and Wemple Roads.