In 1783 a small settlement was formed near the mighty West Branch of the Delaware River in New York State. Five turnpikes either ran through or emanated from this little community initially named Koo Koose (“Place of the Owls”) by the Native Indians and Cookhouse by the white man. In 1811 the one time Indian village was incorporated and then later renamed Deposit.
The village’s initial permanent structure was originally built as a residence for the first married couple of Cookhouse, Margaret Whitaker and Captain Conrad Edick. In 1799 the house became a tavern for the many tradesmen and travelers from the river and along the trails of New York’s Southern Tier. As the history of the structure continued, a salty old gent named Henry Flynt leased the property and carried on a fruitful business until 1874 when it became a tourist home.
In 1968 the building was purchased by its present owner, Richard “Smitty” Axtell, and the House of Axtell Antiques, also known as The Rookery, was born. This lovingly restored inn now houses some of the best examples of early Americana with emphasis on scarcity, unusual form, and superlative, untouched condition of our museum-quality offerings: baskets, stoneware, treenware, redware, folk art, iron hearth accessories, country furniture, textiles, art work, glassware, and early lighting devices. Richard has spent extensive time researching his ever-evolving collection of antiques that he showcases at his shop as well as numerous shows on the east coast.
In 2012 The Rookery Bookery was established following a devastating flood in 2006 as an adjunct to The House of Axtell Antiques. Featured at this bookery are hundreds of books, periodicals, catalogues, and paper ephemera. Available to the public are references, works of fiction and non-fiction, poetry, pamphlets, song books, journals, manuscripts dated as far back as the early 1700’s… and much more!