On a Tree-Lined Street in Rhinebeck:A House With a History

For years, Rhinebeck, N.Y., watched and waited for the total disintegration of a charming but decrepit 1796 Dutch Colonial house on its main street. The house aged and aged, and so did its single tenant, who still lived in it as it tumbled about her. The person who watched most closely was Donna Kermeen, an antiques dealer and collector with an eye trained on the glorious artisanship of the past as well as on her own future.

Patience and determination paid off – they always do – and she was able to buy this romantic wreck, the Livingston/Asher/Miller House. Like all old houses, this one contains many stories, one of which deserves a special mention: in the 19th century, a Miss Asher, obviously an entrepreneurial woman way ahead of her time, worked on the second floor. Within the walls, as they remodeled the old house, the restorers found her sign: “Miss Asher, Dressmaker, Up Stairs.” So, after a brilliant restoration, Donna Kermeen opened her dream store in the autumn of 2001 as (what else?) ASHER HOUSE ANTIQUES. One entrepreneurial lady honoring another.

Perfectly situated on busy Route 9, across from Rhinebeck's old stone post office and the Beekman Arms Inn – America’s oldest – Asher House's colonnaded porch fronted by handsome garden plantings makes it tempting to walk in and pay a visit.