Main Street Historic District
The Main Street Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document.  Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.
The hamlet of Roxbury is located in the upper Catskill Mountains along the east branch of the Delaware River approximately eight miles from its headwaters. The village is located in a valley that varies in size from 1000-1500 feet wide; the hills on either side are roughly 500-600 feet high. The Main Street Historic District itself is situated on relatively flat ground.
The hamlet of Roxbury is laid out along the Delaware River principally in a north-south direction. It is a crossroads community. The principal axis, Main Street, parallels the Delaware River on the east side. Including secondary roads it is the only route through the valley in this area. Main Street is intersected by the east-west Vega Road/Bridge Street. There are five short side streets besides these principal axes.
The physical evolution of the hamlet deviated from normal crossroads developmental patterns in that Roxbury grew around two commercial centers. The first was conventionally sited at the crossroads and included taverns, stores, cabinet shops, a sawmill, and a tannery. The second focus of activity was a somewhat smaller group of shops and businesses located to the north about one-third of a mile away where Main Street crosses the Delaware River; this area included a blacksmith shop, a store, a wagon shop and a shoemakers shop. Initially, residential development tended to cluster around active areas at either end of Main Street with a sparser building pattern distinguishing the middle portion. This area was built up with residences in the last quarter of the nineteenth century when Roxbury experienced considerable growth. Two side streets, Spruce Street and Roosevelt Street, were added in the early twentieth century when large lots were subdivided.
In 1985 an historic resources survey was conducted by the Delaware County Planning Board in consultation with New York State Division for Historic Preservation. This survey identified five individual properties and three historic districts as being potential candidates for nomination to the National Register. Four of the individual properties were located on the side streets and the fifth at the extreme northern edge of town. The first of the three districts is a cluster of commercial and residential buildings located around the Bridge Street/Main Street intersection on the southern end of the hamlet; the second is composed of a residential development located on Bridge and Locust Streets on the western side of the Delaware River; and the third at the northern end of the hamlet, is the Main Street Historic District which includes a distinctive streetscape of early and late nineteenth century residences and prominent civic and religious buildings.
The boundary of the Main Street Historic District encloses an intact concentration of buildings at the north end of the town along Main Street. The north boundary of the Main Street Historic District, near the village limit, is drawn to exclude several modern houses and a farmstead no longer retaining architectural integrity. The eastern boundary coincides with the rear property lines of the buildings fronting Main Street and excludes two side streets where twentieth-century residences predominate. The eastern boundary of the Main Street Historic District excludes a vacant lot about thirty-five feet wide fronting on Main Street which provides access to a larger rear lot containing non-historic and non-residential buildings. The southern boundary separates a cluster of about twenty heavily altered historic and non-historic buildings from the district. The western boundary follows the rear property lines of buildings fronting Main Street, generally coinciding with the east bank of the Delaware River, with the exception of the western portion of Spruce Street which contains eight non-historic buildings and the school property which crosses the river. Beyond the Delaware River to the west is scattered buildings and open land.
The Main Street Historic District consists of 49 properties containing 86 contributing buildings, three contributing structures, three contributing sites, and one contributing object. The 86 buildings include 46 contributing principal buildings and 40 contributing dependencies. There are two non-contributing principal buildings and eight non-contributing dependencies. All of the buildings are located on Main Street except for one on Roosevelt Avenue which is an intact nineteenth century house that was moved to its present location within the period of significance and is the only historic building on Roosevelt Avenue. It was moved there in 1914 from its original location on Main Street next to the Methodist Church. Its type, period and architectural character reflects that found on Main Street.
As a result of the historic pattern of development on Main Street, the most prominent features of the Main Street Historic District are located at either end. The northern end of the Main Street Historic District is anchored by a large rural cemetery and the prominent 1826 Frisbee House; the southern portion of the district is distinguished by a 1939 Tudor Revival School, an 1858 Greek Revival style Methodist church, and an 1892 Gothic style church. The area between these anchors is characterized primarily by nineteenth-century houses on large lots with spacious setbacks along a wide tree-lined street.
The southern end of the Main Street Historic District is dominated by three large buildings: the Gould Memorial Church, the Roxbury Central School and the Kirkside estate. They are located on large, 200-250 feet wide lots with deep setbacks and, except for Kirkside, have little landscaping in front. The monumental scale and ornamentation of the Tudor Revival school and Gothic church are distinctive for a small rural hamlet. Along with the Greek Revival church they create a dramatic entrance to the Main Street Historic District.
North of the Gould church, the street becomes residential with houses sited on modestly sized lots with frontages typically between 70 to 100 feet. The setbacks are fairly regular with a 50-foot setback being typical for the eastern side of the street and a 35-foot setback typical for the western side. Towards the northern boundary of the Main Street Historic District the spacing of properties expands once again with several houses on 150-200 foot lots and a large cemetery on the eastern side. The cemetery contains crypts, obelisks, sculpture, monuments and varying shapes of headstones. At the rear of the cemetery the ground rises. Here stone walls form terraces. Headstones for the graves are placed on top of the walls.
The historic character of the streetscape is enhanced by the survival of distinctive turn-of-the-century landscaping evinced by a uniform tree line, substantial setbacks, and the existence of formal street features such as sidewalks, curbs, and grassy medians. The sidewalk is approximately six feet from the curb line and a tree line is established about twelve feet from the sidewalk. The tree line reinforces the linear plan of the district and forms a picturesque canopy over the street and sidewalk. The trees, in turn, link with the residences via the use of quality materials such as granite curbstones and bluestone sidewalks which survive in front of about 80% of the residences.
Of the forty-six principal structures in the Main Street Historic District, two (4%) were built between 1800 and 1825; 3 (6%) between 1825-1850; 23 (50%) between 1850 and 1875; 11 (23%) between 1875 and 1900; 6 (12%) between 1900 and 1925; and 3 (6%) after 1925. The buildings exhibit a range of ornamentation reflecting popular American architectural styles of the period, predominantly the Greek Revival and Italianate tastes of the 19th century and the Classical Revival tendencies of the early twentieth century. The most common type in the Main Street Historic District is a Greek Revival style vernacular frame house combining a two-story, three-bay main block with a facing gable (partial or full returns) and a one or one and one-half story dependent ell. This was the most common regional house type in the early to mid nineteenth century period. The Italianate style buildings are typically two-story, three-bay forms with slightly shorter two- or three-bay ells. These buildings are distinguished by flat roofs, bracketed eaves, and arched door and window lintels. Many of these Greek Revival and Italianate house forms were remodeled and embellished in the twentieth century with Classical Revival details. A common alteration was the addition of a Classical Revival cornice. The flat roofs on some of the Italianate style houses were altered to hip roofs. Also during this period, wide verandas with Classical Revival ornament were built across many of the facades. The most important alteration of a Greek Revival style building occurred to the house which eventually became Kirkside. An L-shaped wing was added to the original form which more than doubled its size. Dormers with paired windows were added with some of them containing diamond-paned sash. Eaves were bracketed and other Italianate, Queen Anne and Gothic details were added to the building. The most notable Classical Revival alteration occurred to the Frisbee house. Here two, two-story bays, a classical cornice, dormers, and a classical porch were added to a four-bay Greek Revival style house.
A prominent Greek Revival style building in the Main Street Historic District is the 1858 Methodist church. It is a one and one-half story frame building with full entablatures and returns forming a pediment on the gable facing the street. The pediment is supported by four pilasters. The entrance is recessed and raised one-half story. A two-story square bell tower on the roof features a clock on the upper story and pilasters supporting a full entablature on the lower story.
The other architectural styles are numerically fewer but with great significance to the Main Street Historic District as they characterize the district's prominent civic and religious buildings. Most important is the Gould Memorial Church. The church is built in the English Gothic style. It is cruciform in plan; at the intersection of the nave and the transepts a massive tower rises to a height of eighty feet and is crowned by stepped battlements. The tower has paired Gothic-arched windows in each facade with trefoil tracery in each area. The belfry contains a fifty inch Meneely bell. At the northeastern corner of the tower there is an octagonal dwarf tower containing an iron stairway for reaching the belfry. The walls are rock-faced St. Lawrence ashlar marble with dressed window and door trim. Arched triangular windows are located in each gable and Gothic windows are located on the first floor. The apse contains three stained-glass windows designed and manufactured by Tiffany. Oak screens separate the auditorium from the vestibule, organ gallery, and east transept. Oak is used for wainscoting, roof timbers, and ceiling finish. The Gothic arches which support the tower on the inside are of Indiana limestone. Marble is used for the floor of the altar and tile for the remaining flooring.
The other exceptionally distinctive building is the two and one-half story Tudor Revival school located on the southern boundary of the district. The building is constructed of stone and brick. It has a steeply pitched slate roof with three pavilions crowned by stone parapets on the gables. A fourth pavilion is crowned by battlements with quatrefoil designs in the stone tracery connecting the first and second floor windows. The fifth pavilion, the entrance, is constructed of smooth faced ashlar, oak doors and iron grillework on the first floor and half-timbering above. A two-story polygonal, smooth-faced stone tower stands next to the entrance bay.
The Main Street Historic District has retained most of its original appearance. Alteration and additions largely have fallen within the Main Street Historic District's period of significance with more recent changes being confined to the addition of storm windows and doors and vinyl or aluminum siding. The community's commitment to retaining its historic landscape was evinced several years ago when the state highway (Main Street) through Roxbury was resurfaced. The village convinced the highway department to retain the granite curbstones. Residents have also replaced sidewalks with stones rather than use concrete. As a result the district has kept its appearance as a nineteenth and early twentieth century environment which is notable for both the integrity of its buildings and landscaping.
The hamlet of Roxbury Main Street Historic District is historically and architecturally significant as an intact concentration of buildings which chronicle the evolution of a rural village crossroads at the edge of the Catskills in upstate New York between 1800 and 1926. Initially settled in 1800 this typical crossroads community supported a growing agricultural economy. After the railroad arrived in 1872, the hamlet flourished as agricultural specialization, namely the growth of the dairy industry, brought prosperity to all of upstate New York. The railroad also brought this scenic remote Catskills hamlet to within reach of the urban dweller and Roxbury became a community of summer resorts and second homes. Access to urban populations allowed those who had left the village to return and establish summer or country homes. Most notable among those returning was the Jay Gould family, whose presence had a profound effect on the architectural expression and character of the historic district. The layered history of the hamlet is reflected by the architecture of the historic district which includes nineteenth and twentieth century examples from each phase of development. Located at the north end of the hamlet along one of the original crossroads, the Main Street Historic District includes examples of vernacular Greek Revival and Italianate style residential buildings and monumental religious and educational edifices. Among these are an 1892 Gothic style stone church and a Tudor Revival style school building designed in 1939 to reflect the aesthetic preferences of the Gould family. The survival of an unusual landscaping pattern along Main Street combines with the well-preserved architecture to create a noteworthy historic environment.
The Roxbury area was settled in 1789 by a group of twenty families from Fairfield County, Connecticut. The original settlement was four miles north of the present village near the headwaters of the Delaware River. By 1800 a number of families moved south and began a second larger settlement, the hamlet of Roxbury. As settled, Roxbury contained two distinct groupings of buildings. The first, a group located south of the historic district at the confluence of Vega Creek with the Delaware River, clustered around the intersection of Bridge Street/Vega Road and Main Street. In addition to the closely situated residences and commercial buildings here, a saw and wood working mill used the water power from Vega Creek and a tannery used the water of the Delaware River. Eventually a pearl ash factory was built on Vega Road. The second group of buildings was concentrated at the crossing of Main Street and the Delaware River, at the north end of the historic district. Here a blacksmith shop, a shoemaker's shop, and a grocery were intermingled with the residences. The shops of these craftsmen and merchants are gone, but their residences remain. Scattered residential buildings were built along the road joining these two clusters. Like other crossroads hamlets, Roxbury was dependent upon the surrounding agricultural economy.
The earliest houses constructed in the hamlet reflect the settlement era and derive from the forms brought from New England by the settlers. This form is a one and one-half or two-stories in size and typically have five-bay, center entrance facades. There are three examples of this type in the Main Street Historic District.
The most common style of house built in Roxbury between 1830-1850 is a variant on a standard Greek Revival form. This particular type is a two-story, three-bay house with a one or one and one-half story wing; the gable on the two-story portion faces the street. This house type typically has pilasters, a classical entablature, and full or partial returns. A full entablature supported by pilasters typically frames the offset entrance in the two-story portion. The main structure was flanked by a wing, three or four bays wide, with a recessed side, or kitchen entrance. This particular form and style continued to be built after 1850. On the post-1850 buildings a simple raking cornice replaced the classical entablature; entrances were built with simple surrounds and Italianate style doors; the side wings increased in height to equal that of the main part. There are nineteen structures using this form, twelve in the pre-1850 style and seven from the later period.
This particular form was built in great numbers in the region from 1830 to 1870 both in villages and on farmsteads. It reflects the growing standardization of home forms in the nineteenth century and the expansion of the context for building tradition and construction practices from the local vernacular to broader regional and even national models. The vast movement of people, the assimilation of ethnic communities, the dissemination of architectural literature, and the industrialization of building material production all contributed to the emergence of a broader based rural architecture with generalized (progressive) ideas of form, function and style. An example of the emergence of a national style found in vernacular forms in rural communities is the 1858 Greek Revival style Methodist Church. It has a stylized entablature which runs around the building and creates a pediment at the gable end. The temple front is suggested by four pilasters supporting the pediment and a recessed entrance.
During the settlement years and thereafter, while Roxbury served the surrounding farms, the village grew steadily, but slowly. Village life was isolated and traditional. Roxbury was not on either of the two major regional roads, the Catskill Turnpike or the Esopus Road, and the surrounding steep hills and limited water supply restricted its growth. By 1869 there were approximately 100 buildings in Roxbury (approximately 40% of its current size). There were five general stores, two wagon shops, two cooperages, harness shop, tannery, dress maker and millinery shop, and taverns.
In 1872 the arrival of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad introduced significant changes for the hamlet. It fostered a period of growth which saw the hamlet nearly double in size in twenty-five years. By providing a rail link to Kingston and New York City, the railroad supported specialization in agriculture for the surrounding farms. Prior to the railroad's arrival, milk was made into butter for shipment to regional markets. After 1878 fluid milk was shipped by rail from creameries along the U&D line to markets in New York City.
The arrival of the railroad also changed the pattern of life in Roxbury as commercial activity moved to the crossroads area south of the historic district. Bridge Street was extended to the rail line on the western edge of the hamlet, and a station was built there. Commercial activity was focused here with the area growing substantially as a result. The Main Street Historic District became almost solely residential; by 1900 the blacksmith, grocery, and cobbler had moved out of the historic district. Between 1875 and 1895 the vacant land in the Main Street Historic District was gradually filled with residences. The houses here were built in the late Greek Revival, Italianate and Stick styles. The late Greek Revival and Italianate buildings continued the forms of the earlier styles as later details were applied to two-story, three-bay main blocks with subordinate ells.
The railroad also opened Roxbury and the rest of the Catskills to tourism. By the 1880's the U&D was providing regularly scheduled service between New York City and the great Catskill resorts like the Catskill Mountain House and the Hotel Kasterskill. Nearby country towns like Stamford and Fleischmans were soon transformed into large flourishing resorts. Due to the lack of commanding mountains surrounding it, Roxbury did not emerge as a tourist center; however, a few small hotels and boarding houses were built. Within the Main Street Historic District a number of residences were used as summer homes. The architectural changes to these houses as a result of their use were similar to those changes occurring to other residences in the district. Typical changes included the addition of porches and Queen Anne and Classical Revival style details.
Beginning in the 1890's the Jay Gould family became actively interested in Roxbury and brought about major changes in the village and, in particular, in the historic district. The Gould's involvement with the village began because Jay Gould, the notorious financier and "Robber Baron," was born and raised on a farm near Roxbury; in his youth he had operated a hardware business in the village with his father. After leaving Roxbury in 1853, he supported himself by conducting surveys of Delaware and nearby counties. Later, despite his success in business, finance and his great wealth, and even though Jay Gould did not live in the village, he maintained an interest in the community. After the Dutch Reformed Church burned in 1891, he offered to build a new stone church for the village. Before ground was broken however, Gould died. The work of building the church was supported by his estate, particularly his daughter, Helen Gould.
The stone church is the dominant element in the historic district. The church is built in the English Gothic style and was designed by prominent New York City architect, Henry J. Hardenburgh. Hardenburgh was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey of parents of Dutch descent. He trained at the New York office of D. Lienau as a student draftsman for five years and established his own New York office in 1870. Hardenburgh won recognition in 1884 by designing the Dakota Apartment House on Central Park (National Register listed). As his practice increased he designed larger and more important works, including hotels and office buildings. Among these were the Western Union Building (1884), the Astor Office Building (1885), the Waldorf Hotel (1892) and the Astor Hotel (1896). His designs for the Willard Hotel (1898) in Washington D.C., the Plaza Hotel (1906-National Historic Landmark) in New York City, and the Copley Plaza (1912) in Boston were considered his outstanding achievements. Since some of Hardenburgh's clients, notably Edward Clark and Jay Gould, maintained upstate New York summer residences, a small portion of his work can be found places such as Roxbury and Cooperstown.
Hardenburgh worked in a number of styles throughout his career, but the impetus for the Gothic style of the church came from the Goulds rather than from the architect. In the 1850s Jay Gould had expressed an early affinity for the Gothic style in choosing Gothic style houses to illustrate his Albany County map. Later in 1880, after he amassed his wealth, he purchased Lyndhurst, designed by Alexander Jackson Davis and one of the most notable Gothic Revival style houses in the United States. After the Lyndhurst greenhouse burned, Gould personally supervised its rebuilding in the Gothic style in 1881-1882.
Helen Gould's contact with Roxbury began when she became involved in the building of the church. She became enchanted with the village and in 1894 purchased the property next to the church. Originally intended as a summer residence, she spent more and more time there; for her, Roxbury was the "village of peaceful days." The house on the site, named Kirkside, was built in the 1860's in the vernacular Greek Revival form mentioned previously. Like others in the Main Street Historic District it was a three-bay, two-story house with a one-story recessed entrance wing. Gould altered the house extensively by adding wings which more than doubled the size of the original house. Roof lines were changed; dormers in different styles were added; and lintels and cornices were decorated with Gothic, Italianate and Queen Anne details. On the spacious grounds behind Kirkside, Gould added staff quarters, a barn, garages, a Classical Revival ice house and a children's playhouse.
Helen Gould's influence and activities extended beyond her work at Kirkside and the Gould Memorial Church. One of her most significant accomplishments was the development of the upper Main Street landscape. Reputedly, she influenced local residents to adopt a boulevard concept for the relationship between the street, trees, and sidewalks for Main Street in the historic district, which unified old and new elements within the district and created a sophisticated village-like atmosphere in contrast to the informal character that previously existed. Helen Gould also purchased property immediately adjacent to Kirkside and the Gould church for caretakers. She purchased and aggrandized the Liberty Preston family home in the early twentieth century. Cousins of Helen Gould, the Northrup Snow family, constructed the Stick style house across from Kirkside and Helen Gould was said to have reserved the summer boarding house "Park View" so that her staff could be properly boarded when she was in Roxbury.
Helen Gould's work in Roxbury presaged other changes within the Main Street Historic District as former families and residents of Roxbury sought to reestablish their ties and enjoy the charm of country living. The Frisbee House had passed out of the family twenty years earlier before John Frisbee Keator purchased it in 1908 and added Georgian Revival details to what was originally a Greek Revival house. The four-bay house was enlarged to six bays and dormers were added to the roof.
The early twentieth century gentrification of the hamlet is reflected in the addition of contemporary Classical Revival details added to earlier buildings. Classical cornices were added to Greek Revival and Italianate houses; classical details were added to Victorian porches and classical and Queen Anne porches were added to Greek Revival houses. The additions and alterations enrich the earlier houses and contribute to their significance. What began as vernacular rural architecture became more elaborate and conventional, consistent with the atmosphere of civility and opulence which often characterized summer towns.
The last structure built in the Main Street Historic District, the Roxbury Central School, is architecturally and historically significant as a Tudor Revival style building that symbolizes the period of centralization in the development of the New York educational system. The facility is an outstanding local landmark in Roxbury and was designed by the locally prominent Albany architect Harold O. Fullerton. Built as a Public Works Administration project between 1939 and 1940, the building eventually replaced eight one-room rural school houses. Architecturally, the Roxbury school design reflects the desire of the village to continue the aesthetic preferences of the Gould family and was chosen to harmonize with the monumental Gothic style church, one block away, which the Gould family built in 1892.
Educationally, the growth and decline of one-room and rural schools paralleled and was influenced by changes in state level educational law in Albany. In the nineteenth century, New York State enacted laws which provided for compulsory education, common school funding, uniform curricula and improved educational facilities. By the 1920's these issues and declining enrollment in many rural school districts caused state educators and lawmakers to focus on centralization and consolidation on the development of the educational system. The Central School Law of 1924 and the Cole Rice Law of 1925 provided financial incentives for building and aid to districts wishing to centralize.
From the 1820's until the 1870's, Roxbury had a one-room school; in 1872 it was replaced by a two-story, two-room school. In 1895 this school was expanded by enlarging the building, adding a tower containing a clock from the Gould family, and installing running water and indoor plumbing. The teaching staff was increased in size, in part through support from Helen Gould, who supported the salary of an additional teacher. In 1913 this building was replaced by a third which lasted until the erection of the present building. In 1930 the Roxbury Central School was organized with the 1913 building and nine branch schools. The 1913 building could not support the educational needs of the additional students and during the 1930's classrooms were created in the Roxbury YMCA and the Masonic Hall. So although the school had centralized, it was a de facto district of one-room schools and was part of a lagging program of school consolidation in New York State.
Between 1933 and 1939, fresh impetus to school consolidation was provided by federal relief programs, especially the Public Works Administration, which increased the rate of centralization through financial support for new school buildings. The P.W.A., or Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, was a direct relief agency established and funded several times through 1941. Approximately $46 million went to school projects in New York, fitting in well with the Governor Lehman's "Little New Deal," an important part of which was his commitment to increasing state funds for education.
P.W.A. programs gave preference to those proposals that included the demolition and replacement of wood frame schools. Furthermore, the P.W.A. required that schools be designed to provide all possible protection against fire. P.W.A. policy was directed at designing buildings to meet the needs of the public in general and important consideration was given to providing facilities that were flexible enough to serve both the student and the community at large.
In 1938 the Roxbury Central School accepted a P.W.A. grant of $133,650 toward the total school cost of $297,000. Harold O. Fullerton was retained to design the school and the firm of Rathgeb-Walsh of Port Chester, New York to construct it. The 1913 building and two houses south of it were demolished to make room for the new school.
The architect of the Roxbury Central School, Harold O. Fullerton, was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1896. Fullerton opened his firm in Albany twelve years after from the University of Michigan (1920) with degrees in Architecture and Architectural Engineering. The Georgian style office building (still extant) he designed and worked in from 1935 until his death in 1965 was located on Washington Avenue, two blocks from the State Education Department. During his career, he designed over 50 public and private schools, office buildings, churches, and other structures. Other work includes Jeffersonville Central School, Livingston Manor Central School, Delhi Central School, and the dormitory complex of the State University of New York (Albany Campus). Despite the span of his career and the number of public buildings he designed, there are no published references or criticisms of his work. Nevertheless, Fullerton appears to have been a successful and locally prominent architect in his time. The Roxbury Central School is representative of the quality, detail, and scale of Fullerton's buildings, even though it is a departure from the Colonial Revival idiom in which he usually worked.
The building of the Roxbury Central School in the Tudor Revival, rather than the Colonial Revival style reflects the influence of the Goulds in the community. When the school was being designed, the school board wanted the new building to harmonize with the Gothic style church. The Colonial Revival style was rejected even though much of Fullerton's work was designed in this style and even though P.W.A. projects were often carried out in this idiom. The P.W.A. did not design or write specifications for schools and the selection of the architect and the style and materials were up to the owners. The Gothic style also was deemed unworkable for public buildings, so the school board and the architect selected the Tudor Revival style. The 1939 brick masonry school with a half-timbered and stone entrance, bays of stone topped with battlements, stone window surrounds, iron grillework and oak entrance doors harmonizes with the Gould church and is a monument to the Gould's aesthetic ideal which has been preserved in the Main Street Historic District.
The Main Street Historic District in Roxbury appears largely as it did upon the completion of the Roxbury Central School. With its collection of nineteenth-century Greek Revival style and Italianate style residential architecture and the monumental church and community buildings, the Main Street Historic District reflects both Roxbury's origins as a crossroads hamlet supporting an agricultural economy and its attraction for urban dwellers wishing to retreat from city life to a rural pastoral town.
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