Stencil House features rare 19th-century painted stencils on the board walls of the entrance hall, parlor, and dining room. Furnishings in the historic house are a mix of high-style and vernacular painted furniture, decorative arts, and metalwork.
Stencil House was built about 1804 on a farm in Columbus, New York. The house is an example of the small side-gabled house typical of New York and New England. Four rooms downstairs flank a central chimney, and the central front door is flanked by pairs of double-hung windows. The stencils likely were painted between 1820 and 1830.
When the Museum acquired the house in 1953, the painted walls could be seen through tears in the wallpaper. The extent of the stenciling – rare among houses of the period – was not revealed until the house was moved.