Tag: Hudson Valley Historic Sites

Mesier Homestead & Museum-Wappinger’s Falls Historical Society           2 Spring Street      Wappinger’s Falls, NY 12590

Mesier Homestead & Museum-Wappinger’s Falls Historical Society 2 Spring Street Wappinger’s Falls, NY 12590

The Mesier Homestead & Museum-Wappinger’s Falls Historical Society

2 Spring Street

Wappinger’s Falls, NY  12590

(845) 632-1281

Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm

Fee: Donation Suggested

https://www.wappingershistoricalsociety.org/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48799-d16919924-Reviews-Mesier_Homestead_and_Museum-Wappingers_Falls_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I visited the Mesier Homestead recently and toured the home with a local docent. The home to four generations of the Mesier family,  the house is decorate with furnishings from the Victorian era and shows life as it may have been in the late 1880’s.

There are reproductions of family portraits in the Living Room and hallway, a formally set Dining Room for dinner showed the family’s status in the community. By the amount of space available for living and entertaining with the separate rooms for use in the home it showed how times were changing with the affluence of that time.

The second floor tour is a view of the slave quarters and the two family bedrooms. What I thought was interesting on the tour is how the family had to co-mingle in the bedrooms because of the amount of children in the family and how mom and dad were not always alone.

There were many family items in the house like clothing, children’s toys and playthings and items for recreation like bikes,  ice skates and musical instruments of a time before TV, movies and radio. There were also items for spinning and making clothes.

The tour guide also noted the drafts in the house before insulation was put in and the conditions of the time with weather effecting living conditions inside with drafts in the winter and heat in the summer through the roof plyboards. The tour takes about an hour.

Recently the house was decorated for the Christmas holidays with garland, holly and fragrant oranges that once masked the household smells. They also gave the house a festive fragrance. These popular tours last through the holiday season.

Please check their website for a list of their activities.

 

The History of the Mesier Homestead:

The Mesier Homestead and surrounding property was sold to the Village of Wappinger’s Falls in 1891 with the understanding that it forever be known as Mesier Homestead and Mesier Park. The Wappinger’s Historical Society acquired full custodianship of the Homestead in 2007 and through ongoing fundraising efforts has been able to restore the Homestead to its present appearance.

Wappinger's Falls Historical Society II

The Mesier Homestead at Christmastime

The History of the house:

The house itself is part of the ‘Rombout Patent’ of land that had been bought by the Dutch from the local Indian tribes by three prominent Dutch families. This section of the property was bought by Nicholas and Adolphus Brewer and contained 750 acres of land around the Falls area and they built the first stone house in the village near present Mill Street. In 1742, the Brewers built a mill on the east side of Wappinger Creek.

Nicholas Brewer built the Mesier Homestead, which he sold in 1777 to Matthew Van Benschoten who in turn sold it to Peter Mesier, a merchant from New York City. In May 1777, soldiers and local residents attacked Peter Mesier’s house in Wappinger’s Falls, disputing the price of tea for sale in a small store inside the home. Mesier was a merchant from New York City and a Loyalist. The angry mob struck Mesier, beat his slaves and drank wine stored in the cellar. They also took the tea and left a small amount of money behind. The house was in the possession of the family for the next four generations (Wiki).

The organization’s goal for 2020 and beyond is to restore the original 1741 building so it can be a showcase of our Colonial history. Your membership, gifts and in kind donations will help us maintain and restore this jewel of Wappinger’s Falls.

Wappinger's Falls Historical Society III

The Mesier Homestead at Christmastime

The Mission of the Wappinger’s Falls Historical Society:

The Wappinger’s Historical is dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the Town of Wappinger, the Village of Wappinger’s Falls and neighboring communities and to maintain the custodianship of the Mesier Homestead.

When you are a member of the Wappinger’s Historical Society, you help:

*Preserve and expand our archives, collections and library to actively chronicle the life of our hamlets, village and town for future generations.

*Develop and implement programs and exhibits so that people of all ages can better understand their connection to history.

*Safeguard our architectural heritage of the 1741 Mesier Homestead.

(This information was taken from the Wappinger’s Falls pamphlet and I give them full credit for it)

Wappinger's Falls Historical Society

The Mesier Homestead

 

 

Mount Gulian Historic Site                        145 Sterling Street     Beacon, NY 12508

Mount Gulian Historic Site 145 Sterling Street Beacon, NY 12508

Mount Gulian Historic Site

145 Sterling Street

Beacon, NY  12508

(845) 831-8172

http://www.mountgulian.org/

Open: May 5th-October 27th Tours are every hour 1:00pm-5:00pm on Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Special Wedding tours are by appointment.

Fee: Adults $8.00/Seniors $6.00/Children (6-18) $4.00/Members are free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47291-d10701912-Reviews-Mount_Gulian_Society-Beacon_New_York.html?m=19905

 

On my last trip to the Hudson River Valley to visit the great houses of the Hudson, I came across Mount Gulian, a Dutch manor that I never heard of in all my visits. This smaller Dutch manor house is actually a reconstruction of an 18th century home that burned to the ground by arson in 1931. The original house had been built between 1730 and 1740 and added onto over the next two centuries.

The house officially had closed for the season at the end of October and was decorated for the holidays for the weekend between December 14-16th to represent the Dutch celebrations. There had been a Children’s tea the Monday before the New Year so the house was closing down for the season. As the ladies that worked there were taking down the garlands, mistletoe and trees, the curator Amy, let me wonder the rooms as long as I did not get in their way.

The house is very unique. You would have never known it was a reconstruction. The house really looked its age. The funny part of the house is that is at the very back of an old estate that had been developed with townhouses from the main road to almost the border of the house’s property so it was strange to drive through to find the house. Once in the semicircular driveway, you plunge back into time.

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Mount Gulian Homestead in the summer months

The large porch in the front of the house looks over what’s left of the lawn and the housing developments. Once inside you enter the foyer and long hallway with rooms on each side. Each room was or had been decorated for the holidays with garland, mistletoe, fruits and a Christmas tree in one room, a kind of mixture of old Dutch meets Victorian Christmas. Still the effects were nice and it was very festive.

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Mount Gulian’s Dining area decorated for the holidays

What I enjoyed is that in each room, there were stories of the Verplanck family and the role that they played in the formation of the community and in the nation as well. All of the rooms had artifacts that the family keeps donating the house as most of the original furnishings were destroyed in the 1931 fire. Still the furnishings are vintage to the time period.

Here and there are stories of the house, the people that lived here and about the family in their daily lives. There were also stories of the Revolutionary War and its headquarters of Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. There was also a display on the founding of the Society of the Cincinnati, a Veterans group.

The downstairs was the kitchen area and was still set up for a Dutch Christmas. There was also an interactive game that the room was set for and the gift shop for the site is there as well.

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The Mount Gulian kitchen

When I left the house, I visited the grounds over-looking the Hudson River. On the property behind the house was a ‘A frame’ Dutch barn. The barn was closed for the season but fit very well into the landscape of the estate. The view of the Hudson River was beautiful.

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The Dutch Barn at Mount Gulian

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The view to the Hudson River from the house in the Summer

I will have to visit again in the Spring when it opens in April.

Don’t miss visiting the downtown’s of Beacon and Wappinger Falls while visiting the area. Taking Route 9D is an interesting and scenic way to tour the area.

 

History of Mount Gulian:

The land where the house stands was purchased by two fur traders Francis Rombout and Gulian Verpanck on August 8, 1683. In exchange for 85,000 acres of land, they paid about $1,250 in goods. The Rombout Patent which formally granted the land to Francis Rombout and Gulian Verplanck was issued by King James II of England on October 17, 1685. After Gulian Verplanck’s death, his estate was eventually divided among divided among his heirs. Julian Verpanck II, a merchant from New York City, received 2880 acres, 400 of which were on a slope overlooking the Hudson River.

He named his estate Mount Gulian, in honor of his grandfather and had the first house on the site built between 1730 and 1740. The building was a small structure with an a-roof. Archaeological evidence suggests it was probably enlarged around 1767 and the characteristic gambrel roof as well as two porches were added between this year and the American Revolutionary War.

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Mount Gulian in an early picture

The Revolutionary War years:

During the war, Gulian Verplanck’s son Samuel stayed at the house, while his wife, Judith Commerlin remained at the family mansion at 3 Wall Street in Manhattan. In early 1783, Major General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben made Mount Gulian his headquarters. At the same time, George Washington had his headquarters in Hasbrouck House, Newburgh on the opposite side of the Hudson River.

On the morning of May 13, 1783, a group of officers of the Continental Army met at Mount Gulian to found the Society of the Cincinnati. Mount Gulian is headquarters of the Society’s New York State branch. The building was extended by in 1804 by Daniel Crommelin Verplanck, the grandson of Gulian Verplanck II, who also laid out the garden. When Marquis de Lafayette visited the house on his return to America in 1824, he stayed in the new addition.

In 1803, upon the death of Judith Commerlin Verplanck, the family mansion at 3 Wall Street was closed and much of its furnishings moved to Mount Gulian. In 1849, construction of the Hudson River Railroad cut off access to the Verplanck boat and bathhouse at the end of the property at the shoreline.

The Restoration of the House:

The original mansion was destroyed in a fire laid by an arsonist in 1931. After this, the  house laid in ruin and was left unattended until 1966, when Bache Bleecker, a descendant of the Verplanck family and his wife, Connie, founded the Mount Gulian Society, as a nonprofit private organization. The goal reconstructed the house to the state it was when it served as von Steuben’s headquarters. The interior contains artifacts related to the Verplanck family. The 18 century Dutch barn was moved here as well.

(This information came from Wiki and I give them full credit for the information)

History of the Verplanck Family:

Mount Gulian is the Hudson Valley colonial homestead of the Verplanck family. Between 1633 and 1638, a Dutch entrepreneur named Abraham Isaac Verplanck arrived in New Netherlands Colony (now New York and New Jersey) from Holland. He originally came to purchase land for a farming settlement and trading post.

The trading post would enable him to trade Dutch goods with the local Native Americans in exchange for beaver and other furs, Indian tobacco and trade goods that were rare in Europe. New Amsterdam was a thriving port and frontier town, filled with Dutch settlers, Indians and traders from all over Europe, Africans, both freemen and slaves, as well as French Huguenots seeking to escape from religious persecution in Europe and Jews fleeing the Inquisition in South American came to a relatively tolerant and busy New Amsterdam.

Abraham Issac Verplanck settled in the growing city and became a prosperous businessman. he married Maria Vigne Roos by 1635, they had Abigail and Gulian (Gulyn is Old Dutch for William), Catalyna, Isaak, Sussanna, Jacomyntje, Ariaentje, Hillegond and Isaak II Issak II moved to Albany and established the Verplanck line in that city, which exists today.

In 1664, an English nave appeared off the coast of New Amsterdam and demanded the city’s surrender. The Dutch surrendered their colony, swore loyalty to the British Crown and saw the city renamed New York. The Verplancks spoke Dutch but were now English citizens. By the 1680’s, Gulian Verplanck was sailing up the Hudson River looking for land to increase his wealth.

In 1683, with partners Francis Rombout and Stephanus Van Cortlandt, Gulian Verplanck bought 85,000 acres of land from the local Wappinger Indians for approximately $1200 worth of goods. About 75 miles north of Manhattan, overlooking the Hudson River for miles and going inland into rich meadows and forests, encompassing nearly one-seventh of modern Dutchess County, NY in today’s Fishkill-Beacon area, the purchase was quite a bargain. In 1685, the Deed of Sale was approved by King James II of England and is known as the Rombout Patent.

For the next forty-five years, Verplanck, Rombout and various partners and heirs sub-divided, sold off and rented portions of this huge tract of land, while logging, hunting and planting crops on the land.

During the English colonial period, the Verplancks became quite prosperous and built a fine home on Wall Street in Manhattan. The Verplancks were civic minded and participated in the development of the business and banking industry in New York City and were among the Trustees of Kings College, now known as Columbia University. Around 1730, a colonial-style fieldstone house was built in Fishkill Landing on the Rombout Patent land.

This rough frontier home was gradually surrounded by a working plantation, a dock on the Hudson that facilitated the New York-Kingston-Albany trade and many service buildings for servants and crop production. This homestead was called “Mount Gulian”, and it was used as a summer retreat for the family and a working plantation but it is not believed that any family member lived at the site year round until the early 1800’s. Other Verplancks at this time lived in Albany and Verplanck Point in Westchester County, NY.

The Verplancks were prominent citizens in colonial New York while maintaining correspondence with their Dutch relatives in Holland. Young Samuel Verplanck was fortunate enough to take “the grande tour” of Europe in 1761. As businessmen of that era, it must be noted that the Verplancks of Manhattan and Mount Gulian owned slaves during the mid-1700’s and into the early 1800’s, most likely house servants and skilled laborers.

Before the Revolutionary War, Samuel Verplanck became involved with anti-British groups and joined “the Committee of Safety of One -Hundred” in Manhattan. This patriot group was poised to take over the city in the event of rebellion, which occurred on April 19, 1775 at Lexington & Concord.

Later during the War for Independence, Verplanck turned over Mount Gulian to the Continental Army because of its strategic location on the Hudson near the Fishkill Barracks and across from Washington’s Headquarters at Newburgh. In late 1782, through the summer of 1783, Mount Gulian was the Continental Army headquarters of patriot General Fredrich Von Steuben. After the American victory at Yorktown, upon learning of the Treaty of Paris, General Von Steuben and other Chief American officers created at Mount Gulian on May 13, 1783 the Society of the Cincinnati, America’s first veterans fraternal organization.

In 1804, Daniel Crommelin Verplanck, a member of Congress moved from Manhattan to permanently occupy the home at Mount Gulian, which underwent extensive expansion with the addition of a large frame house attached to the original homestead. An ornamental “English Garden”, all the rage in Europe at the time, was laid out by him and his daughter, Mary Anna to supplement the 6 acres “kitchen garden” and the fields filled with salable crops. More permanent structures wee built on the property, still thousands of acres, including barns, smokehouses, storage buildings and structures to facilitate brick making from clay taken from the Hudson.

The Verplanck family grew and eventually married into many prominent families in New York such as the Schulyers, the Johnsons, the Delanceys and the Bleeckers. Daniel’s son, Gulian C. Verplanck, also a member of Congress, ran for Mayor of New York in 1834, losing what many believe was a fixed election. Other Verplancks were judges, businessmen and wealthy farmers.

With slavery abolished in New York in 1827, the conservative Verplancks, along with many upper class Northerners, gradually sided with the abolitionists, even hiring and assisting James Brown, an escaped slave who worked for the family for forty years. Brown’s diaries, written at Mount Gulian, provide a detailed record of daily life there.

During the Civil War, Robert Newlin Verplanck volunteered in the Union Army’s United States Colored Troops, training and fighting along side black troops until the victory at Appomattox. His battlefield letters to his mother and sister have been preserved by Mount Gulian.

The Victorian era at Mount Gulian was a grand time, as the family associated with the local Livingstons, Roosevelts and Vanderbilts. Many Verplancks achieved fame in the professions, in arts and letters and as sportsmen. Verplanck Colvin was a topographical engineer who extensively surveyed the Adirondacks. Virginia E. Verplanck was a celebrated gardener and hostess. John Bayard Verplanck was an early seaplane flyer, racing World War I era veteran and banker.

Mount Gulian was occupied by the Verplancks until 1931, when the house was destroyed by fire. Many of the furnishings and valuable were saved by family members, neighbors and firemen who cleared the house before it was fully engulfed. Prior to the American Bi-centennial of 1976, Mount Gulian was beautifully restored with the assistance of Verplanck descendants, local history lovers and members of the Society of the Cincinnati. In 1998, Mount Gulian sponsored a well-attended family reunion, which included an updated version of the family genealogy book originally from 1892. Today Ms. Charlotte Verplanck Willman is one of the Mount Gulian Historic Site’s Board of Trustees.

(This information was taken from the Mount Gulian Society website and I give them full credit for the information.)

Boscobel House & Gardens  1601 Route 9D Garrison, NY 10524

Boscobel House & Gardens 1601 Route 9D Garrison, NY 10524

Boscobel House & Gardens

1601 Route 9D

Garrison, NY  10524

(845) 265-3638

http://www.boscobel.org

Homepage

Open: Sunday-Monday 9:30am-5:00pm (closes 4:00pm between November and January 5th) The house is only open between April and the beginning of January.

Fee:  Adults $18.00/Seniors $15.00/Children (5-18) $9.00/Children (under 5 years old) Free (This is for house and Garden/Garden tours are different and depend on the season. Please check the website)

My review on TripAdvisor:

 

I recently visited the Boscobel House and Garden for their Christmas decorations and for a tour of the house at the holidays. Like most houses of its time period (the house was built in 1806), it was Post-Revolutionary War and the decorations would not have been that lavish as in the Victorian times.

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The Grand Foyer at Boscobel

The house was tastefully decorated with garlands and mistletoe along the archways inside the foyer and with holly and mistletoe inside the house. Some of the tables were set for afternoon tea and entertaining in the Reception Room and there was a small table Christmas tree which were just coming into vogue after the War of 1812. The Reception Room was also set for entertaining as would be done in the holidays months in the later 1800’s.

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The lights of Boscobel during the holidays

Our tour guide, Sam, was fantastic and I hope when you tour the house he is your guide. I was impressed with his knowledge of the house and of the Dyckman family. I had not realized that they were related to the Dyckman Farmhouse family in Inwood (See my review and write ups on the Dyckman Farmhouse here on VisitingaMuseum.com and MywalkinManhattan.com).

He told the story of the man who had the house built, how he made his fortune, how he died young and then his son and his wife dying around the same time and the son-in-law squandered the fortune with a series of bad investments and the house was foreclosed. It sat empty and was falling apart until a group of local citizens saved it.

The house is now back in its full beauty and furnished in period furnishings to reflect the time that the house was built. The tour takes you through the main foyer which you would have been received in and there would have been dancing here with a band at the top of the steps.

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The Drawing/Receiving Room at Boscobel

We next viewed both the Drawing/Music Room where Mrs. Dyckman would have received guests and where informal entertaining would have happened. There was also musical instruments and player music boxes on display.

We then toured the Library area with books that were brought in from England and furniture that had been custom made for the house.

We crossed the foyer again and entered the Formal Dining Room, where the table was set for a holiday dinner. The candles had been lit (they were electric) and the room had a warm glow to it. The windows must have let in natural light so earlier meals must have been quite nice when in the summer months the sun shined inside the room.

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The Dining Room for the holidays at Boscobel

There was custom made china set on the places and there was family silver next to it. The side boards were made by Sheraton and the cut glass had been imported from England.

We then toured the back areas of the Butler’s Pantry where all the food would have finished and plated. The room had all sorts of gadgets to keep the plates warm and where all the silver and china would have been kept.

We then toured the upstairs bedrooms, where we learned the family would have ‘camped out’ in for the cold winter months. I was surprised to learn that the whole front of the house was closed off and the upstairs bedrooms would have been sealed off with fireplaces to keep them warm and the cloth hangings around the bed to keep out the drafts. Both mother and son’s bedrooms were nicely furnished with period furniture.

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The bedroom at Boscobel

Our last stop was the kitchen in the basement back area of the house where all the food would have been prepared and brought up to the Butler’s Pantry. There were all sorts of kitchen equipment for roasting, baking and boiling. You could tell that it was not easy work cooking these elaborate meals without the modern conveniences that we take for granted today. These cooks had a tougher time with the stoves and fireplaces as a source of cooking.

What I thought was a nice touch at the end of the tour in the kitchen area was that Sam served us cold apple cider and small gingerbread men which I thought was special keeping with the house’s tradition of a place of entertainment. I thought it was gracious and very much welcome.

It really was an interesting tour and I will have to return in the summer months.

 

History of Boscobel House & Gardens:

States Morris Dyckman was a descendant of a German-Dutch family whose roots in New York stretched back to 1662. During the American Revolution, he was a Loyalist serving as a clerk in the British army’s Quartermaster Department. In 1779, he accompanied his quartermaster superiors to England and for the next decade he rebutted the government allegations that the quartermasters had engaged in profiteering. (As the keeper of the department’s ledgers, he well knew how they had fattened their purses, assets Dyckman’s biographer James Thomas Flexner). The officers were eventually cleared, largely because of Dyckman’s testimony. They rewarded him with an annuity.

Dyckman returned to America in 1789 after a general amnesty of Loyalists had been declared. Five years later, he married Elizabeth Corne, a member of a distinguished New York family and 21 years his junior. Dyckman returned along to England in 1800 to settle problems with the payment of his annuity. The trip lasted nearly four years but was a success. He returned a rich man worth more than seven million dollars today. Before he left England, he bought many items for the house including silver, china, glass and books for his library.

The architect for the house was unknown but records show that Mr. Dyckman had some influence in the design of the house. Mr. Dyckman died in 1806 at age 51 and the house had only had the foundation finished at time. His 30 year old wife, Elizabeth finished the house in 1808 with the help of her husband’s cousin, William Vermilyea. She furnished the house and added to its inventory. She and her son, Peter lived in the house upon finishing it. She lived in the house until her death in 1823 and her son, Peter died the following year in 1824 at age 27. The house stayed in the family until about 1899 and then was foreclosed on. According to the guide, the house had not been updated at that point and was falling apart. The house had a series of absent owners over the next few years and then sat empty. It was bought by Westchester County in 1924 and the grounds were turned into a park.

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Boscobel House & Gardens in winter

In 1945, the park was acquired by the Veterans Administration for a hospital and the owners took care of the exterior for a time. By 1954, the house was considered an excess on the budget and was being sold for $35.00 for demolition.

The house was saved by Historian Benjamin West Frazier and some friends of his who raised about $10,000 to have the house moved and dismantled to save ‘this treasure’. The house was stored in pieces until 1955, when Lila Acheson Wallace, the co-founder of Readers Digest became involved in the project.

She purchased the land that the house now sits on and devoted her time and money to have the house restored and worked with the curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she was a donor to help restore the house into its period design with landscaped gardens and period furniture. In 1959, she commissioned the firm of Innocenti & Webel to create the gardens that surround the house. The house opened to the public in 1961.

(This information was taken from the Boscobel Museum Booklet and I give them full credit for the information)

 

Clermont State Historic Site               County Route 6  Germantown, NY 12526

Clermont State Historic Site County Route 6 Germantown, NY 12526

Clermont State Historic Site-New York Parks & Recreation

Route 6 (Off Route 9G)

Germantown, NY  12526

(518) 537-6622

https://parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/16/details.aspxhttp:/clermontstatehistoricsite.blogspot.comwww.friendsofclermont.org

https://www.friendsofclermont.org/

Open: April 11-October 31 Wednesday-Sunday 10:30am-4:00pm/November 1-

December 22/Saturday & Sunday 10:30am-3:00pm

Please call in advance due to seasons and weather conditions

Fee: Adults $7.00/Seniors and Adults $6.00/Children Under 12 and Members Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47780-d263704-Reviews-The_Clermont_Mansion-Germantown_New_York.html?m=19905

I enjoy coming up to Germantown to visit the Clermont Mansion at any time of the year especially at Christmas time. The old mansions of the Hudson River Valley show their real beauty at this time of the year.

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The Clermont Library decorated for Christmas

Walking around Clermont is like walking through a history book. To think you are walking around the very rooms that family members who wrote the Declaration of Independence, were Governors and Ambassadors from our country and who owned most of Upstate New York lived is really incredible. The Livingston Family did so much for the United States in the formation of this country is a testament to the family.

The tour was wonderful because of the one on one conversation I had with my tour guide, Molly. We started in the entry hallway where the family hang many of the family portraits and the long hall lead to wonderful views of the Hudson River.

The next room decorated for the holidays was the Music/Withdrawing Room with more beautiful views of the river and a very interesting clock on the mantle that there are only two in the world. This clock represented the first balloon launch in France and this was the clock where the balloon went up. In France was the other clock with the balloon going down. I thought that was pretty interesting.

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The Balloon Clock on the mantle decorated for Christmas

Our next stop was the Library which seemed very homey and relaxing. It looked like a room that a family would want to spend their time in after a long day. The windows faced the river and the formal gardens at that time and let in a lot of light. The room was decorated with a elegant tree and looked like the family was ready to walk in and join us for the holidays.

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The Library of Clermont

Next it was off to the formal Dining Room where the portraits of Margaret Beekman Livingston (a VERY distant relative of mine by marriage) and her husband, Robert Livingston hung. She had saved these along with the grandfather clock before her first house was burned by the British during the war years. It was set for Christmas lunch when the family would dine together.

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The Clermont Dining Room is very elegant at Christmas

We also toured where the food was prepared and prepped from the kitchen to the Dining Room, which was all done in organized fashion. I was told by the tour guide that for the most part the family lived her year round unlike some of the other mansions who only lived here during certain times of the season.

We took a walk upstairs to see the upstairs bedrooms and see where the third Mrs. Livingston lived. I thought it was interesting that she had two beds in her room in which neither was big enough to accommodate her.

Then it was back down to the formal hallway for the end of the tour. The one thing I have to say about Clermont is that it looks like someones home not some grand mansion like the Mills or Vanderbilt mansions that looked like they for a moment time or only for a season. This family lived here all the time.

I will have to come back to see the gardens in bloom during the Spring and Summer.

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The home in all its beauty

 

The History of Clermont:

The name Clermont derives from “clear mountain” in French and was inspired by the view of the Catskill Mountains across the Hudson River from the estate.

The estate was established by Robert Livingston following the death of his father, the first Lord of the Manor was inherited by the eldest son, Philip Livingston, 13,000 acres in the southwest corner later named Clermont was willed to Robert. The original house was built around 1740.

Robert Livingston of Clermont died on June 27, 1775 and the estate passed to his son, Robert, who was known as ‘Judge Livingston’ to distinguish him from his father. Judge Livingston was a member of the New York General Assembly from 1759 to 1768, served as Judge of the admiralty court from 1760 to 1763 and was a delegate to the Stamp Act Congress of 1765. He married Margaret Beekman, daughter of Colonel Henry Beekman. Their son, Robert R. Livingston, later known as “Chancellor”, served on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Judge Robert died about six months after his father, on December 9, 1775.

Burning and  Rebuilding:

In October 1777, British ships sailed upriver from New York City in support of General John Burgoyne who was north of Albany. That same force had already stormed two forts in the Hudson Highlands and burned Kingston, New York. Major General John Vaughan led a raiding party to Clermont and burned Livingston’s home because of the family’s role in the rebellion. Margaret Beekman Livingston rebuilt the family home between 1779 and 1782. Robert R. Livingston became the estate’s most prominent resident. Chancellor Livingston administered the oath of office to President General Washington, became Secretary of Foreign Affairs and negotiated the Louisiana Purchase.

He also partnered with Robert Fulton in 1807 to create the first commercially successful steamboat on the Hudson River, the North River Steamboat (later known as the Clermont) which stopped at the house on its inaugural trip.

The home’s final Livingston owners were John Henry Livingston and his wife, Alice. They added to the home and greatly valued the homes important historical role. The Livingston’s built second mansion on the property known as Arryl House, which burned down in 1909. The ruins of Arryl House are still visible at the south end of the property. Alice Livingston was responsible for creating many of the landscaped gardens that are continued to this day. Following John Henry’s death, Alice turned the Mansion and property over to the State of New York in 1962 so that all the people of New York could enjoy it.

The house is now a New York State Historic Site and was designated a United States National Historic landmark in 1972. It is a contributing property to another National Historic Landmark, the Hudson River Historic District. Although locate in the town of Clermont, its mailing address is in the nearby town of Germantown.

(This information is a combination from the Clermont Website and Wiki and I give them full credit for this information. Please check the website above for more information on the site and its activities through their Friends site.)

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside  3 West Sunnyside Lane Irvington, NY 10533

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside 3 West Sunnyside Lane Irvington, NY 10533

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

3 West Sunnyside Lane

Irvington, NY  10533

(914) 591-8763

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48720-d3680157-Reviews-Sunnyside-Tarrytown_New_York.html?m=19905

 

Washington Irving’s home, Sunnyside is open during the warmer months of the year, closing at the end of October. The house looks like a enchanted cottage with almost a fairy like appearance right on the banks of the Hudson River with the most spectacular views of the river valley and the Tappan Zee Bridge in the distance.

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Sunnyside at the end of the summer

The house was designed by architect George Harvey and reflects the Dutch Colonial Revival, Scottish Gothic and Tudor Revival influences with wisteria growing up and around it and a jagged crow stepped gable.

When walking through the home, you will see the study where Washington Irving conducted the business of the house and did his writing. To the other side of the house, you will see the living room and small dining room where the family used to entertain. The upstairs contains small bedrooms where Washington Irving, his brother, Ebeneezer and his five nieces lived on and off when they were living at the house. Washington’s brother’s business had failed and the family came to live with him. Two of the nieces never married and ran the home for their uncle.

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The bedroom at Sunnyside

The house is nicely furnished in the most modern decor of its time but is not an elaborate house. It is a home and not a weekend mansion and this ten acre estate was a once a  working farm. In the back of the house, there is an ice house and a barn show where the people who worked on the estate kept the house running.

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The study of Washington Irving

The view of the river is one of the most spectacular in the Hudson River Valley as its at the widest part of the Hudson River. You can see the cliffs of New Jersey on the other side with views of Nyack and the Tappan Zee Bridge in the background.

During the Fall season there are all sorts of activities going on at the estate and the tours are a very interesting look at life at that time.

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The Sunnyside Kitchen

The History of Sunnyside:

The estate was once the home of Wolfert Acker called Wolfert’s Roost and was part of the Manor of Philipsburg and this home was once a simple two room stone tenant farmhouse built around 1690.

The property came into the hands of the Van Tassel family, who were married into the Eckert family and owned it until 1802. That year, 150 acres were deeded to the family of Benson Ferris, one time clerk of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, whose wife, Maria Acker, was a descendant of Wolfert Acker’s.

In 1832, Washington Irving visited his nephew, Oscar Irving, who lived near the old stone farmhouse and was looking for a home at the time. He purchased the property on June 7, 1835 and would add to the property.

Irving wrote a story, “Wolfert’s Roost”, about Acker and the site. In a letter to his brother Peter, he described it as “a beautiful spot, capable of being made a little paradise…I have had an architect up there and shall build upon the old mansion this summer. My idea is to make a little nookery somewhat in the Dutch style, quaint but unpretending. It will be of stone.” He asked his neighbor to help him remodel the house and landscape the grounds in Romantic style adding a brook and waterfall.

The house became a major spot of people visiting the area to meet the author. In 1842, he was appointed to be the Ambassador of Spain and left the estate in the care of his brother and four daughters. He returned in 1846 and added to the home the ‘Spanish Tower” in 1847. This added four more bedrooms to the home.

Irving died in the house in 1859 of a heart attack at age 76.

The house was purchased from Lousi Irving by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and was restored for historic preservation. It was opened to the public in 1947.

 

Dia: Beacon 3 Beekman Street New York, NY 12508

Dia: Beacon 3 Beekman Street New York, NY 12508

Dia: Beacon

3 Beekman Street

New York, NY  12508

(845) 440-0100

https://www.diaart.org/visit/visit/diabeacon-beacon-united-states

https://www.diaart.org/visit/visit

Open: Sunday & Monday 11:00am-6:00pm/ Closed Tuesday & Wednesday/Thursday-Saturday 11:00am-6:00pm

Fee: General Admission $15.00/Seniors & Students $12.00/Children Free under 12

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47291-d273538-Reviews-Dia_Beacon-Beacon_New_York.html?m=19905

 

I visited the Dia: Beacon in Beacon, NY today and I have to say that is an interesting space.  The museum is sited on thirty-one acres on the banks of the Hudson River and is adjacent to ninety acres of riverfront parkland. The museum is located in a former printing plant built in 1929 by Nabisco (National Biscuit Company) (Wiki).

The Dia: Beacon presents Dia Art Foundation’s collection of art from the 1960’s to the present as well as special exhibitions, performances and public programs. The Dia invited artist Robert Irwin to conceive the master plan for a twenty-century museum that retained the original character of the factory’s interior spaces, Irwin also designed seasonally changing garden throughout the surrounding landscape. Following the renovation, the Dia: Beacon was added to the National Register of Historic Places (Dia: Beacon Museum).

Dia Art Foundation:

Founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is committed to advancing, realizing and preserving the vision of artists. In addition to Dia: Beacon, Dia maintains a constellation of iconic, permanent artworks and installations in New York City, the American West and Germany (Dia Museum).

Some of the Art work in the Museum:

The one thing about the Dia is that the works are quite large and pack a bold statement.  John Chamberlain created interesting works with the bodies of mangled cars and each one on the first floor galleries. The whole gallery looks one giant automobile accident.

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The Chamberlain Gallery

Louise Bourgeois has displayed some interesting sculptures that dominate the upper floors. One of the most fascinating pieces was that of a large spider that dominates the corner of the floor.

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This is a rather creepy piece of art like something out of the movie “It”.

Artist Dan Flavin has some interesting light sculptures on display along the walls and floors of the gallery. Things are made of long fluorescent lights of various colors.

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Artist Dan Flavin’s light sculptures

In the main gallery as you walk in are the large geometric shapes of artist Charlotte Posenenske who created these pieces in various colors and shapes. These pieces line the floors and walls.

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The geometric shapes of artist Charlotte Posenenske

 

Each of the galleries are devoted one artist’s work and these galleries make their own statements. There is also a really nice bookstore and gift shop on the extension of the museum and small restaurant.

It is nice to just walk around in your own time and visit each of the galleries. Plan about two hours to see the whole museum. It is an interesting place to see contemporary art in a gallery that is devoted to one artist at a time.

Dia

The outside grounds of the museum and the parking lot makes it own statement. There is not much parking so plan on getting there early or later in the afternoon.

 

 

Historic Huguenot Street                             81 Huguenot Street    New Paltz, NY 12561

Historic Huguenot Street 81 Huguenot Street New Paltz, NY 12561

Historic Huguenot Street

81 Huguenot Street

New Paltz, NY  12561

(845) 255-1889

http://www.huguenotstreet.org

info@huguenotstreet.org

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48245-d288641-Reviews-Historic_Huguenot_Street-New_Paltz_New_York.html?m=19905

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Plan your visit:

For current information on guided tours, group tour reservations, school groups, special events or accessibility, call (845) 255-1660 or visit http://www.huguenotstreet.org.

App:

Our free Walking Tour mobile app features histories of the houses on the street with archival photos as well as photos of the house interiors and the collection pieces within. Mobile users can download the app on both the App Store and Google Play.

History of the site:

At our 10 acre National Historic Landmark District, visitors experience more than 300 years of history through the lens of a French Huguenot community as it evolved over time. Guided tours begin with an introduction to the pre-colonial Munsee Esopus landscape dating back 7000 years and the religion, culture and architecture of New Paltz’s earliest European settlers and enslaved Africans. The experience continues as guests visit fully furnished houses reflecting unique human narratives and changing tastes across the Colonial and Federal periods, through the Gilded Age and into the early 20th century.

(Promotional Materials)

I visited Historic Huguenot Street one afternoon after visiting here about five years earlier during the holidays. The houses are easy to tour and the street is blocked so that you can walk amongst the houses.  There are tours every half hour when the site is open. Here you can tour inside the houses instead of just the grounds. On a nice day, it is interesting to look over the architecture of the homes.

Make sure that you take time to look at the historical cemetery by the church at the end of the block. Some of the original settlers are buried here. It is also nice to tour around the Waykill River.

Take the extra time to visit the gift shop and see the information video on the site and look over the literature of the site.

The area has a pretty interesting history.

History of the Huguenot Street Historic District:

The site is owned and operated by Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), which was founded in 1894. In 1899, Historic Huguenot Street purchased the Jean Hasbrouck House as the first house museum on the street. In the 1950’s and 60’s, the organization and related family associations purchased most of the remaining stone houses in the district and subsequently opened them as museums. These acquisitions were funded in large part by descendants of the original Huguenot founders. Their family associations play a key role in supporting the institution today.

The Individual Houses:

Bevier-Elting House:

Dating to the early 18th century, the house was originally a one room building built with the narrow or gable end facing the street-then the prevailing style of the low countries of Northern Europe. Two expansions were built later as was a small cellar that was used to house African slaves. The house was built by the Beiver family, one of the founding families and subsequently sold to the Dutch Elting family.

Abraham Hasbrouck House:

The structure as the Abraham Hasbrouck House was built in three phases in the 1720’s and 30’s. The first of the house-the center room-was constructed in 1721 by Daniel Hasbrouck, the son of Abraham Hasbrouck the patentee. The date 1721 is based on recent dendrochronology, which is a process by which wooden structural members are dated. This house represents a New World innovation in Dutch-style architecture. The initial houses in the Dutch region of New York, such as New Amsterdam, Albany and Kingston were built in the tradition of Dutch cities with the gable-ends to the street, which conserves street frontage. The basic structure of the house consists of a series of H-bents which spread the weight of the house across the entire expanse. The original one room house exhibited several defining elements of Dutch architecture, the jambless fireplace being the principal and most recognized feature in the house. Recently re-opened to the public in July 2012 following a restoration and reinterpretation focusing on the life of Widow Wyntje.

Jean Hasbrouck House:

Also built in 1721 by Jean’s son Jacob (and perhaps incorporating elements of an early home built by New Paltz founder Jean Hasbrouck), this home is an excellent example of Hudson Valley Dutch architecture and the showpiece of Historic Huguenot Street. A National Historic Landmark in its own right, it boasts the only remaining original jambless fireplace of any of the Huguenot Street houses and is one of the few surviving examples in what was formerly the New Netherland.

In 2006, the north wall of the house was carefully dismantled, repaired and reconstructed. Reproduction Dutch-style casement windows were installed. Interior restoration followed, resulting in a house that is an excellent example of how a comfortable family in the region lived in the mid-18th century.

DuBois Fort:

Built circa 1705 for the DuBois family, it might have served as a fortified place for the small community if needed. Originally a smaller 1 1/2 story structure, this building was expanded to its current size in the late 1830’s. Some historians and antiquarians believe that the presence of “gun ports” made it a fort but there is no evidence of the presence of any such portholes before the 19th century. The DuBois Fort currently serves as the orientation center and gift shop as well as a location for special events. Guest can purchase their admission tickets and memberships at this building. Over the last 300 years, it has also been used as a residence and a restaurant.

Historic Huguenot Street I

DeBois House

Freer House:

The Freer House is one of the six 18th century stone houses owned by Historic Huguenot Street. It was altered in various points in its approximately 250 years of occupancy with its most recent major alterations occurring in 1943 when it was purchased by Rev. John Wright Follette, a direct descendant of it s original builder, Hugo Freer. Over the years, the interior was modernized into a 20th century idea of a colonial home. This structure is not currently open to the public.

Deyo House:

The original portion of the house was built around 1720 by Patentee Pierre Deyo. It began as a one room house was subsequently expanded to two rooms and ultimately  to three when a stone addition was added off the rear by Pierre’s grandson Abraham. Circumstances for this house changed dramatically when at the height of the Colonial Revival movement, two descendants  of Pierre Deyo, Abraham and Gertrude Brodhead, inherited the house. Wanting to live on the street of their ancestors but also wanted a modern, gracious home that reflected their affluence, the Brodheads partially dismantled the original stone house and build a grand Queen Anne home around it in 1894. They also significantly changed their surrounding property in essence changing a small village farm into a handsomely appointed and landscaped mini-estate. The house passed out of Deyo family ownership in 1915. It was a private home until 1971, when it was purchased by the Deyo-Family Association and donated in order to be opened to be opened to the public as a house museum. The home was most recently restored in 2003 and features circa 1915 interiors.

The patentee Pierre Deyo died in 1700, so couldn’t have built the house in 1720 as stated. Per the plaque mounted outside the house it was built in 1692.

Crispell Memorial French Church:

Since the community’s founding, there have been four sanctuaries built on what is today called Huguenot Street. The French-speaking Protestants who settled in New Paltz built their first church in 1683-a simple log building. This was replaced in 1717 with a straightforward, square stone building that reflected the permanence of the settlement. This existing building in the burying ground is a highly conjectural reconstructed of the 1717 building near its original location.

As the New Paltz community increased in size throughout the 18th century, a larger church became necessary. A second stone church was built down the street in 1772. When it became too small, it was demolished and replaced by a third church built in 1839. This church survives today and is home to an active Reformed congregation.

The reconstructed church is named in honor of Antoine Crispell, one of the twelve founders or patentees of New Paltz and a direct ancestor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was built as the result of a fundraising campaign led by the Crispell Family Association. The Crispell Family Foundation opted to create this reconstruction church in their ancestor’s honor. It was completed in 1972.

The 1717 church was designed to reflect Reform thinking; the pulpit was placed in a central location and the pews were placed so that everyone could see and hear more equally. This expressed the concept that each person had a direct relationship with God, rather than one mediated through a church hierarchy.

LeFevre House:

Built int 1799 by Ezekiel Elting, a prosperous merchant who was born in the Bevier-Elting House, this stone and brick building is quite different from the earlier stone houses on Huguenot Street. Its Georgian-style architecture reflects the transition of New Paltz from a French and Dutch settlement to an Anglo-American community and increasing refinement in architecture in this period as settlements matured. The house shows the changes in architectural style from the early 18th century. This house reflects the several changes in the society and home life of New Paltz in the early 19th century.

Deyo Hall:

Formerly a glass factory, Deyo Hall is the site of event and meeting facilities and public restrooms. Collections storage is housed in this building.

Roosa House Library and Archives:

Located in the Roosa House, the Library and Archives at Historic Huguenot Street is a research facility devoted primarily to the history and genealogy of the Huguenot and Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley. It also functions as a general repository for local history, regardless of ethnicity or religious persuasion. The collections consist of family genealogies, church, cemetery and bible records, wills and deeds, census records, genealogical periodicals, county histories and publications relating to Huguenot ancestry. Genealogists, local historians and other interested parties can access the collections by appointment. The colorful paint replicates the original colors of the house in 1891.

Native American presence on Huguenot Street:

Historians and archaeologist have learned more about the continuing relations between the Esopus, the original inhabitants of the area and the Huguenots. Some results of research can be found at the HHS site at “Relations between the Huguenots of New Paltz, NY and the Esopus Indians (http://www.huguenotstreet.org/library_archives/exhibits_research/Indian_affairs.html). The “Before Hudson” exhibit, currently on view at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, shows some of the highlights of archaeological excavation in our area with artifacts dating back 6,000-8,000 years ago.

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Indian Wigwam

(This information from the homes is from Wiki)