Graphic designer Dennis Favello of Orson likes all things old.

Nestled in the northern countryside, his home dates back to the late 1800’s. Bought in 1997, he’s been faithfully restoring it these past 12 years. It’s been a labor of love, he says.


Graphic designer Dennis Favello of Orson likes all things old.
Nestled in the northern countryside, his home dates back to the late 1800’s. Bought in 1997, he’s been faithfully restoring it these past 12 years. It’s been a labor of love, he says.
Surrounding his home are heirloom roses. Some he’s bought, others he’s rustled. Rose rustling, he explained, is “where you go around and collect old roses from old sites, like cemeteries, where they might have grown for hundreds of years. You go and take cuttings without destroying the original. You never want to kill the original.” From the area, he has about 20 cold-weather varieties.
In the distance, the sun warms the beams of an old barn being carefully dismantled. It, too, dates back to 1880 or earlier. “Every time I see one falling down, it makes me kind of sad,” he says. Favello recently purchased the 30 by 40-foot barn from his neighbor, intent on having it rebuilt on his own land next spring or summer.
Former owner Alan Llewellyn says he’s glad the barn’s not going  far. The weathered wood holds fond memories, he says. Days gone by, when he and his grandpa, the late Milton Rhone milked cows in the barn by hand. “He was a hard worker ...He was a good, religious man. He was just the greatest man there ever was, I thought. I miss him,” Llewellyn said. “He just treated everybody the same. He was just the greatest person.”
Asked if a part of his grandpa, those cherished memories, are in that barn, Llewellyn unhesitatingly answered, “Yes.” Dairy farming has deep roots in Llewellyn’s family history. His great grandfather, John Rhone and his great-great grandfather Lewis Rhone were also hard working farmers.
Icon of American architecture
“Barns are such an icon of American architecture. And, I think, everyone has some kind of a link to a barn. And, because there used to be so many farms and so many farm families, that was the predominant industry in our country. People spent time on their grandparent’s farm. And there’s that feeling that comes with being in a barn — a connection,” says Zeke Boyle of Beechwoods Barns, out of Narrowsburg, hired to dismantle the barn.
Boyle and partner Niall Barrett have done many such historic preservation projects. He doesn’t see a barn past its prime, when he carefully takes them down. “Saving old barns, that’s what we’re passionate about. For one thing, the old timber has got so much more strength and a quality to it that new timber doesn’t have. And it’s also got that patina that comes with age, the coloring, and the character. You just can’t get this with new timber.
Years back, they used bigger beams, he said, “so you could have more open spaces in the barn. That’s part of the character of them.” Favello’s barn is a mix of Hemlock, Beech and Poplar.
Boyle says it’s well worth the effort to preserve such an icon. “When it’s all repaired, on a new foundation that’s really well built, with proper drainage, (it could last) several hundred years,”he said.