Brinckerhoff House Historic Site/East Fishkill Historical Society
68 North Kensington Drive
Hopewell Junction, NY 12524
Open: Sundays 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday-Saturday Closed/June-August
My review on TripAdvisor:
The Brinckerhoff House Historical Site
The Brinckerhoff House Historical Site was built in three different time periods with the oldest part of the house to the right, the main part of the house was built second and the Sun Room and porch to the left was built last. The house opens up in all parts but you can see the distinct different in the style of the design.
The entrance of the original homestead
The entrance of the Homestead has the schoolhouse and icehouse to the left of the entrance and the blacksmith shop and the carriage house to the right. The Blacksmith shop has a real blacksmith on duty working when the house is open for tours.
The original section of the house in the “Everything Room” where cooking, dining and socializing took place for the first generation of the family. This is the original part of the home that was built around 1755 by John G. Brinckerhoff and his bride, Marie Terboss for their family. There was a single upper room for the family as well. The main room is where all the cooking, eating, socializing and work was done by the family.
The original Brinckerhoff Kitchen in the first section of the home
When their family grew, the moved out and John’s brother, George G. and his wife, Elizabeth Wilcox moved into the house. After the Revolutionary War was over (both brothers were captains in the local militia), George G. added the main addition to the house with four additional rooms in the eastern wing of the house.
The addition showed the affluence of the family in that they could have separate rooms for socializing and higher ceilings meaning that they could heat the house properly.
The formal Dining Room in the Victorian times set for entertaining. A hot chocolate service is on the table which was a luxury at the time.
The formal Living Room is where socializing and work was done. Spinning and needlepoint as well as dressmaking where done by the ladies here.
The Living Room at the Brinckerhoff House
In the main hallway of the addition to the home services as a display area for all sorts of artifacts that deal with the different time periods of the home. These items are from the Revolutionary War.
Display cases in the main hall
Arriving at the Brinckerhoff House for the holidays on a beautiful sunny day
During a recent Christmas event held at the house in December of 2022, the house was decked out for the holidays. The Brinckerhoff house held its annual Holiday Tea, which it not held since 2019 due to COVID. This popular fundraising event was sold out that day.
The Brinckerhoff House ready for the holidays in December 2022
Approaching the house on the estate. The Van Wyck Barn is to the right.
Santa’s Sleigh for when Santa comes to visit the Brinkerhoff House
This sold out event really showcased the beauty of the house during a Revolutionary Christmas. Homes would be decorated in natural garlands and fruits of the season and the house would be decorated with candles. There was a Christmas tree in the home but that would not be seen until the Victorian era.
The Keeping Room decked out for the Afternoon Tea at the Brinkerhoff House
The Family Room at the Brinkerhoff House for the holiday in 2022
The Living Room decorated for the Afternoon Tea
The Living Room decorated for the Afternoon Tea at Christmas 2022
The family Christmas tree would not have been part of a Revolutionary Christmas but a Victorian era decoration in the late 1800’s
A Children’s wish list for Santa during the Victorian era with all sorts of playthings; dolls, sleighs, tea sets and books
The family remained in the house until the death of George G. in 1812 when his brother moved back in and then it was sold to Thorn Purdy in 1814. The Purdy family added the west wing of the house in 1830 that houses a small summer kitchen with a fireplace, crane and small brick oven.
The house was donated to the East Fishkill Historical Society by developer Gustav Fink in 1974 along with three acres when he could not sell it for redevelopment.
History of the Brinckerhoff-Pudney-Palen House:
(From Museum Pamphlet)
Around 1755, John G. Brinckerhoff and his bride, Marie Terboss purchased the land that the home sits on today. The original structure consisted of one room that included a kitchen with a large fireplace and beehive oven and a single upper room.
When their family their family grew, the house and farmed were conveyed to John. G.’s brother, George G. Brinckerhoff and his wife, Elizabeth Wilcox. In 1755, John G. and George G. were given commissions as Lieutenants in the Dutchess County Militia. Both men were promoted to Captain and were active with the Committee of Safety of the Rombout Precinct.
After the war in 1785, George G. built a four-room addition to the original east wing of the house. This is the largest section of the house and contains a spacious center hall, graced by elegant architectural features. The small paned windows, enclosed staircases, Dutch doors and wrought iron “HI” hinges were characteristics of the 18th century. A small shed was added around the same time.
When Captain George G. Brinckerhoff died in 1812, Captain John G. Brinckerhoff took possession of the farm again and in 1814 sold it to Thorn Pudney who christened it “ARCADIA”. The Pudney family would remain at “ARCADIA” for the next 60 years. In 1830, the family added the western wing of the house featuring a small summer kitchen complete with a fireplace, crane and a brick oven with an iron door cast at Fishkill Landing. It also contains an indoor stone cistern in the basement to collect rainwater for cooking, washing and drinking.
In 1875, Edward Palen purchased “ARCADIA” from Thorn Pudney’s son Jacob and changed the character of the farm by focusing on dairy production. It was very convenient to ship their milk to marker in New York City via the rail line two miles away at Hopewell Junction.
Edward Palen’s son, James H. would eventually take over the farm. The Palen farm produced their own lumber from the trees grown on the farm. As James Palen’s health began to fail, the farm was sold to Banton Moore in 1926, who rented it to Gene Satterlee. Gene continued dairy farming for many years until a fire burned the cow barn in 1970.
The house and the farm were sold one last time in 1974 to local developer Gustav Fink, who after many unsuccessful attempts to sell the house to be restored gave the house and three acres to the East Fishkill Historical Society. At this time, the old farmhouse was in a poor state of repair.
The Brinckerhoff Historical Sites Schoolhouse and Icehouse on the estate
Through the continuing efforts of the East Fishkill Historical Society’s members and many years of fundraising and restoration, the Brinckerhoff-Pudney-Palen House has once again been resurrected to its original condition and stands as a fine example of an original Hudson River Valley Dutch farmhouse.
On the grounds are also the 1870 Icehouse, the 1826 Schoolhouse, the 1880 John Hyatt Blacksmith Shop and the 1845 Carriage Barn from the Van Wyck family.
The 1880 John Hyatt Blacksmith Shop
The Van Wyck Carriage Barn from 1845
The entrance to the Brinckerhoff home with the Schoolhouse from 1826 to the left and the Blacksmith Shop to the right and the main homestead of the estate.
Don’t forget to visit the Brinckerhoff House gift shop at the end of your tour! This helps with the fundraising efforts to support this wonderful home.
The Brinckerhoff Gift Shop