Archive for 'New York'

After visiting Washington’s Headquarters in Newburgh, I went down to see the nearby headquarters, used during the same period by General Henry Knox, Washington’s Chief of Artillery. Like Washington’s HQ, it’s also a state historic site, located in New Windsor/Vails Gate. Due to limited time and an arrival off the regular tour time, I had a quick walkthrough tour of the house, which like Washington’s Headquarters, is arranged as it would have been when the general was there, including quarters where his staff would have stayed. In addition to Knox, the house was also used earlier during the Revolutionary War by Generals Nathanael Greene and Horatio Gates. The house was built in 1754 by John Ellison, who was involved in the milling trade. The Ellison House is interesting for having two facades, one side (above) being English Georgian style, the other (below, after the jump) being Dutch colonial. › Continue reading…

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Hasbrouck House/Washington’s Headquarters (1750)

After the Battle of Yorktown, Washington spent over sixteen months (April 1, 1782 to August 19, 1783) at his headquarters in Newburgh, NY. He was even joined there by his wife Martha. The house he used had been built by Jonathan Hasbrouck in 1750 and had two enlargements before it was completed in 1770. The house was also altered inside in preparation for Washington’s arrival. The property is the earliest publicly operated historic site in the United States, having been acquired by the State of New York in 1850. I went on a tour of this house while on my way to my most recent trip to Pennsylvania. I was interested to see that the home, as a colonial Dutch farmhouse, had three “Dutch Jambless” (sideless) fireplaces. Although the major fighting of the Revolutionary War had ended with the Yorktown victory, many momentous events occurred while Washington was based in Newburgh, until the war officially ended in 1783. The Hasbrouck House has Washington’s original desk, on which he wrote several important letters and addresses. I also learned that the house in New Windsor that Washington used before Yorktown (and from which he left to meet Rochambeau at the Webb House in Wethersfield, CT) no longer exists. Also on the property is a museum (1910) and a monument called the Tower of Victory (1890). The site has great views of the Hudson River. › Continue reading…

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Lyndhurst (1838)

Lyndhurst

Located just next door to Sunnyside, in Terrytown, NY, is Lyndhurst, another very significant nineteenth century mansion. This building‘s place in American architectural history can not be understated, as it is one of the great examples of the Gothic Revival style. Lyndhurst was constructed in two phases, both times to designs by architect Alexander Jackson Davis, who also designed much of the furniture. The first phase (1838-1842) was for William Paulding, Jr. and the second (1864-1865) for George Merritt. Jay Gould owned the house from 1880 to 1892 and his daughter, Anna Gould, Duchess of Talleyrand-Perigord, donated it to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 1961. Visitors to the house can either tour on their own or take a guided tour (the same choice was offered when I visited Edith Wharton’s The Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts). Before touring the house, I wondered where the gift shop was. It was not until the end of the tour that I entered the shop in the basement, which had a good selection of items. Both Sunnyside and Lyndhurst sell guidebooks about their respective houses which are excellent examples of such books, providing detailed historical information in addition to pictures. The angle of the afternoon sun prevented me from taking an adequate picture of the house! › Continue reading…

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Sunnyside (1835)

Sunnyside

This past summer, I made a trip to Philadelphia and stopped at two houses in Terrytown, New York (right near where the Tappan Zee Bridge crosses the Hudson River), on the way. The first was Sunnyside, which was the home of author Washington Irving. Although the earliest history of the building goes back to an old Dutch farmhouse built in 1656, Irving completely transformed it into his own home in the nineteenth century, after purchasing the property in 1835. Irving really did put his mark on the property, which is right along the river, with his own landscaping plans. His house, which has many Gothic and Romantic touches, became a famous American landmark as well. I strongly recommended visiting Sunnyside, as it is a home which, more than most, reflects the full spirit of its owner. The house is owned by Historic Hudson Valley, which has other house museums in the region. The gift shop at Sunnyside was also notable, being larger than average. Irving is most famous for Rip Van Winkle and Sleepy Hollow, but he wrote a large number of works, including biographies of Mohammad and George Washington. Sunnyside is one of the most evocative homes one can visit, for those with an interest in literature as well as those interested in the Romantic movement in America. › Continue reading…

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Some Lighthouses of Eastern Long Island Sound

Orient Point LightOrient Point Lighthouse (1889)

In my last post, I mentioned the buildings of the Southold Historical Society. In addition to those structures, the Society also has a Nautical Museum in Horton Point Lighthouse. Horton Point Light was established in 1857. My Long Island Trip ended with the journey by ferry from Orient Point to New London. On this journey, several lighthouses can be seen. Off of Long Island is the Orient Point Lighthouse, which was built in 1889. Later on, Little Gull Island Lighthouse can be seen in the distance. This tower was built in 1868. The ferry also passes close by Plum Island. The current Plum Island Lighthouse was built in 1870. Three more lighthouses can be seen as the ferry enters New London harbor: New London Harbor, New London Ledge, and Avery Point Lighthouses. These are covered over at Historic Buildings of Connecticut. › Continue reading…

Buildings of the Southold Historical Society

Southold Historical Society

Departing Long Island by heading along the North Fork towards the ferry to New London, we passed the museum buildings of the Southold Historical Society. They were not open at the time, but I took pictures of many of the structures, which make up an impressive museum campus. I also was able to visit the gift shop, which is housed not far away in what was the old Henry W. Prince Dry Goods Store. Southold was originally founded by Puritans from the New Haven Colony and when New Haven was absorbed into Connecticut, Southold remained under Connecticut jurisdiction until 1674. › Continue reading…

Raynham Hall (1740)

Raynham Hall

After visiting Theodore Roosevelt’s house on Long Island, we went into the town of Oyster Bay and I visited the historic house known as Raynham Hall (named after Raynham Hall, a country house in Norfolk, England). Dating to a little before 1740, the older part of the house is a saltbox, originally occupied by the Samuel Townsend family. A Victorian era addition was made in 1851. Unlike the previous sites featured here, I was not given a guided tour of Raynham Hall, but instead visitors walk through on their own and read interpretive signs. This house is distinctive because some of the interior rooms are furnished to reflect the colonial era and others the Victorian era. To aid visitors, it is explained that rooms with carpeting are Victorian and rooms with bare floorboards are Colonial. This is an interesting way to present the house, which does span different time periods and allows visitors to make direct comparisons. › Continue reading…

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