House Manual

We don’t expect you to read all of this!
The important bits are indicated on small signs around the house. This comprehensive guide is just here to make things easy, should you need it.

Getting There

  • The house is at 2380 Burroughs Memorial Road, Roxbury, NY, 12474.
  • It shows up in all major GPS navigation systems.
  • You won’t have cell phone service for much of the trip, including the last 15 to 20 mins before you arrive. Please be sure to pre-load your directions.


  • We have sent you an entry code that will be valid for the length of your stay.
  • Use the keypad on the door closest to the garage to enter the house for the first time.
  • The wifi information is posted by the door in case you need to contact us for help.
  • The exterior lights will be on in case you arrive after dark.

Enjoying our 200 Year Old Farmhouse

  • The house is a beautiful, lovingly-restored, two-century old antique. The restoration effort took us four years. We have spent countless hours furnishing the place with vintage finds. It’s our family home.
  • Everything in it is meant to be used. The china dishes, musical instruments, fireplace, etc., are all there to be loved and enjoyed.
  • We ask that you treat the house and everything in it gently, with care and kindness–closing doors, walking around, sitting down in the chairs, etc.–so that the place will last another 200 years. 


  • There are two steps up to the primary entrance at the back.
  • There is a raised threshold to the half bath on the main floor. The shower is in the upstairs bathroom.
  • All of the bedrooms are upstairs.

Exploring Our Property

  • Our property is 4.25 acres and runs between the tree lines to the east and west, and from the road to the top of the hill north and south.
  • Please feel free to explore and enjoy the meadow and woods.

The Joys and Realities of Rural Life

  • You will be staying in a 200 year old farmhouse in the woods, with all that entails.
  • We subscribe to a pest control service. That said, there will likely be a few ants, spiders, and beetles that sneak in. There may be mice. 
  • The property is visited by coyotes, deer, foxes (our children have named one of them Foxbury), and the occasional black bear. The meadow is full of milkweed, which plays host to migrating Monarch butterflies in late July. There are fireflies throughout the property during the summer.
  • Our road is very walkable. Twenty minutes will take you to the charming and peaceful John Burroughs State Historic Site just up the hill. Check out the early 19th century lodge and learn a bit about this contemporary of Emerson who used this vista as inspiration for 28 books. It’s the perfect after dinner stroll.


  • We’re afraid that we do not allow guests to bring pets into our home. Service animals are an exception.


  • Smoking is not permitted inside the house.
  • There are ash trays in the seating areas on the outdoor porch.


  • Please respect the rural and tranquil nature of the community by keeping things at medium volume or lower after 10pm.
  • DISCLOSURE: There are no cameras or surveillance devices in the home. The smart lock keeps a record of each time the door is unlocked by your code. The Google mesh network keeps a record of connected devices. The thermostat has temperature and motion sensors around the house to maintain energy efficiency. If you use our accounts, the Chromecast will keep a record of your streaming history, although we’re not interested enough to look!

Coming & Going While You’re Here

  • Please lock all exterior doors before you leave. Once outside, press the ‘ultraloq’ button once to lock the mud room door. You’ll hear the door lock. Double check the French doors are closed; they’re a bit tricky.
  • Please help reduce our energy consumption by turning off the interior lights when you leave. You can leave the exterior lights on.


  • There is parking for up to 6 cars in the driveway. The garage isn’t available for parking.

EV Charging

  • There is a Level 2 Chargepoint station inside the garage between the two garage doors.
  • There are no lights in the garage, so you’ll need the flashlight on your phone if it’s after dark.
  • To charge your car, open the garage door on the left and run the cable out to your car.
  • Ensure the cable is resting along the ground under the garage door. I.e., no tension, nowhere near the door hardware, etc.
  • Gently close the garage door so that it rests just above the cable.


  • Please do not use any of the power tools in the garage workshop.
  • There are no working lights inside the garage.


  • There is no cell phone reception. You’ll need to use the Internet to make calls.
  • The network name is ‘Roxbury Meadow’. The password is ‘torontoberl1n’.
  • In case you need to reset the router, it’s beside the electrical panel in the basement. Unplug the router, remove the battery from the base, and count to ten before reinserting the battery and plugging the router back in.
  • Nodes for the Google mesh network are positioned throughout the house. They are the short, white cylinders in the basement, kitchen, dining room, media room, and yellow bedroom. They are not smart speakers and do not have cameras or microphones.

Lights & Electrical (Potentially Confusing

  • All of the light fixtures and lamps are controlled by switches, usually located next to the door. For upstairs, they are on the post next to the railing. 
  • You can turn the individual fixtures off/on but, if they aren’t powering on, it’s because the related wall switch is turned off. The lamp in the upstairs hallway is the only exception; it works as you’d expect.
  • The top plug on every electrical outlet–except for those in the kitchen and bathrooms–is controlled by a wall switch. If you want to plug in your phone or anything else, use the bottom plug.
  • The dimmer for the dining room is at the bottom of the stairs in the front hallway.
  • The wiring in the house is brand new and in full compliance with building codes. That said, we are on a rural grid with fluctuating power. Bulbs may waver a bit or flicker when major appliances turn on. Totally normal.

Listening to Music

  • There is a bluetooth speaker in the living room. It flashes a blue light when it’s in pairing mode. It shows up as “Core…” on your phone.
  • There is a sound bar upstairs in the media room. It’s paired with the Chromecast for watching streaming content but can also be paired with your phone to play music.

Home Theatre System

  • There is a projector and screen in the upstairs media room.
  • Gently lower the screen to about a foot above the railing. To raise it, pull down lightly to engage the spring, then guide it up. Please do not allow the screen to slam up on its own. Raise it up when not in use.
  • HDMI 1 is a Google Chromecast.
  • It’s easiest to cast from your own phone and accounts to the Chromecast, but you can also use our subscriptions as ‘Guest’. We subscribe to Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, and Netflix.
  • The sound bar should be paired to the Chromecast. If it’s not paired, text us and we’ll help. If you want to switch it to your own device and understand how to do it, go for it. 

Musical Instruments

  • The media room is equipped with a drum kit and three guitars.
  • The big amp is for the bass. The small amp is for the electric guitar.
  • If you know what you’re doing, go for it.
  • If you don’t know what you’re doing, please text us for a quick tutorial so you don’t accidentally damage any of the equipment. Then you can go for it.

House Phone

  • There is a landline in case you can’t get your cell phone to work or need to call 911. The phone is in the downstairs hall next to the stairs. It should stay operative for the first hour after a power outage.
  • The house number is +1 (607) 326-6190. You can give the number to people trying to reach you.
  • Please feel free to answer the phone if it rings. It’s very unlikely and won’t be for us. (Although it might be us or our house manager.)


  • The kitchen features the highly-rated Breville Barista Express, so you can make your preferred espresso-based drink.
  • The cost of an amazing cup of coffee is an amazingly complicated machine. We’ve made a quick video showing how to make a latte.
  • If that looks like too much work, there is a pour over set-up and coffee grinder in the small pantry.
  • Watershed Cafe has great coffee, pastries, and a small, well-curated market of local items. Just a couple minutes away if you just want to run into town.
  • There is an electric kettle in the small pantry.
  • We have provided coffee beans and an assortment of tea. If you’re buying more beans, the espresso machine works best with a medium roast.

Major Appliances

  • They all work as expected. If you’re confused, text us and we’ll walk you through it.
  • Dish soap is in the dispenser next to the faucet. There is a bowl of dishwasher soap pods in the cupboard to the right of the machine.


  • It’s a little confusing.
    1. Press ‘Microwave’.
    2. Press ‘Start’. It will start with 30s on the timer.
    3. Then turn the dial to increase the amount of time.
  • The china and carnival glass (orange) dishes can’t go in the microwave. Microwaveable dishes can be found in the large pantry cupboard.

Cooking & Staples

  • The house is stocked with cooking utensils and high-quality, non-stick cookware.
  • When cooking, please use the white remote on the window sill above the range to turn on the hood vent.
  • Please do not use metal utensils in any of the yellow pots and pans; they’ll scratch and be ruined, needing to be replaced.
  • We have two pizza stones in the rack next to the dishwasher. If you would like to use them, pre-heat the ovens and stones to 500 degrees.
  • You are welcome to anything you find in the kitchen fridge, pantry, and cupboards.
  • If you finish the last of something, we’d appreciate a text so we know to replace it.

Wood-burning Fireplace

  • We ask that you watch this video before using the fireplace.
  • The fireplace is modern, new, and very energy efficient. It is very important to keep the fire quite small. Large fires will damage the unit and are not needed to produce heat.
  • Do not open the latch at the top of the fireplace. Access the firebox by sliding the glass upwards. Please see the video.
  • The easiest, safest, and most environmentally-friendly way to make a fire is to light one of the prepackaged fire logs, which are stored beside the sofa. We strongly encourage this approach.
  • The firewood is mostly there for display. However, if it is a particularly cold night and you need extra heat, you can make a fire with 2-3 medium-sized logs. Anything more will overheat the unit and isn’t required to heat up the house.
  • To light the fire, first slide glass up to provide access to the firebox. You can use your hands or insert the end of the silver metal tool in either of the slots at the bottom sides of the glass. Gently slide it straight up, behind the tile. You may need to switch the tool back and forth between the two sides to open or close the glass completely.
  • After the fire is lit, lower the glass two thirds of the way down to help with the airflow. Put the brass peacock screen in front to prevent sparks from hitting the floor.
  • Once the fire has calmed down, you can lower the glass the full way to maximize the heat output. Close the peacock screen and put it back in place on the right.
  • There is no flue to open or close.

Outdoor Bonfire Pit

  • There is a bonfire pit at the top of the path to the woods.
  • There are firewood and kindling already up there.
  • Bring matches and paper from the house.

Trash & Recycling

  • If you’re around for less than three days, please feel free to leave things in the kitchen and we’ll deal with it after you leave.
  • During longer stays, please put household waste in garbage bags and take it to the black bear-proof bin on the far side (right side) of the garage.
  • Metal and glass recycling goes in clear bags and into the same black bin. Cardboard can be bundled separately and placed in the bin.
  • We do not compost. Bears.
  • To open the bin, put your finger into the raised slot and release the latch while lifting the lid.
  • Trash collectors stop by on Wednesday and Saturday, so please don’t be startled if they show up during your stay. They will walk up the drive to empty the bin.

Cleaning the House

  • Your cleaning fee covers the mess made during a typical stay. There’s no need to strip the beds or do the dishes when you leave. (We don’t like it when hosts make us do that, either.)
  • If you’re around for a longer stay you may want to clean; totally up to you! Cleaning supplies can be found just inside the basement door. The vacuum is at the foot of the basement stairs.

Fire Safety

  • There is a fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink and in the upstairs hallway outside the green bedroom.
  • In case of fire, each of the windows can be opened and the screens kicked out.
  • You can exit the second floor windows onto the porch roof and climb down.
  • In an emergency, nearby neighbors will answer their doors while you call 911.

Accessing the Basement

  • Please do not enter the basement unless absolutely necessary; it is not considered part of your rental space. 
  • The door is unlocked only in the case you need to get the cleaning supplies, or reset a circuit breaker or the boiler during your stay. 


  • We are on a septic system. Please do not flush any additional materials other than toilet paper down the toilets.
  • Septic-safe toilet paper is provided. If you’re buying more during a long stay, please check the label for for ‘Septic Safe’. 
  • Please do not dump grease or coffee grounds down the kitchen sink.


  • We have our own spring fed by an underground stream, filtered by a top-of-the-line system we service regularly. The water has been tested and is very clean.
  • You will hear the water pump in the basement run while the water is in use.
  • We don’t know why you would, but please do not dump any kind of oil, gas, cleaning product, chemical, etc., onto the ground outside that might contaminate the drinking water. If needed, put contaminated wastewater or fluids in containers and place them in the garage. We’ll take them to the transfer station (the dump).
  • The water is heated on-demand, so you won’t run out of hot water.


  • There should be no need to adjust the wall-mounted thermostats on either floor. The heating system will run automatically: lower at night and higher during the day.
  • If the heat is on and you are still chilly, please start a small fire in the fireplace (see above) rather than turn up the thermostat.


  • The best and most energy-efficient way to cool the house is to open the windows at night and shut them during the day. The house has premium insulation that will trap the cool air inside.
  • Each bedroom is equipped with a ceiling fan controlled by a wall switch.
  • During the summer, when it’s particularly hot and muggy outside, additional cooling is provided by an air conditioner and dehumidifier on each floor.
  • From June to September, in order to keep the house cool and comfortable during your stay–and to protect the house against rot and mold–please keep the ACs and dehumidifiers turned on at all times. They will run automatically according to the heat and humidity levels.

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