The Mesier Homestead & Museum-Wappinger’s Falls Historical Society
2 Spring Street
Wappinger’s Falls, NY 12590
Open: Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm
Fee: Donation Suggested
My review on TripAdvisor:
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.
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.
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)
The Mesier Homestead