LOUDONVILLE -- The house at 446 South Market Street feels especially welcoming and homey to lifelong Loudonville resident and third generation firefighter, Joe Kiefer.
Kiefer, who recently renovated the property into a vacation rental with his wife Lara, grew up inside the quaint, two-story house.
It was his childhood home, and his father and grandfather's, too. The house and nearby barn were built in 1931 by Kiefer's great-grandfather and served as the Kiefer family home for generations to come.
It was a place of love, laughter and frequent phone calls from the fire department. Kiefer's father and grandfather were firefighters like him.
"All the firefighters, all volunteers, had a fire phone, and it had a different ring to it," Kiefer said.
Any of the firefighters could pick it up and listen to the call on the other end of the line. Sometimes, when their father wasn't able to take a call, Kiefer and his brothers were allowed to listen in on the conversations happening between the others.
"We weren't allowed to say anything, had to be quiet," Kiefer said.
When their father did take a call, they'd listen for the trucks to go by the house.
"They'd honk the horn at him at a kid, and still to this day when he goes on call and passes our house, he honks the horn," Lara Kiefer said.
They live elsewhere now. The house had been passed down to Joe's brother and ultimately sold out of the family. When the property and the family's former floral shop nearby went back up for sale, Joe felt inclined to buy both.
"We could do it, and it's for a lot of sentimental reasons," he said.
The house is positioned directly beside the former family business, Kiefer Florist. The house and barn were purchased in early 2020, and the shop was bought back in 2019. It was leased to a new small business owner, Angie Dawson, who opened Drops of Essentials last fall.
The house was renovated over the past few months and will become one of two vacation rental properties ran by the Kiefer family.
They called it "Firehouse Inn," a nod to the family's history there.
Already, families have scheduled stays at the property in the coming months.
The property can sleep up to eight people. It features four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen, living room and additional gathering space in the basement. Outside, the large yard features a fire pit.
The barn will eventually be converted into a display space for Loudonville's first fire engine, known by local firemen as "Mert."
Additionally information about the Firehouse Inn and the Kiefer family's other vacation rental is available at www.mohicanvacations.com.
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