Archive for 'House'

Three Historic Houses in Brooklyn

In addition to he Wyckoff House, I also saw three other early historic houses in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The Lefferts House (above) was closed, so I didn’t go inside. The house was built in 1783 and was the former home of Continental Army Lieutenant Pieter Lefferts. In 1918, it was moved six blocks to Prospect Park, where it is now a children’s museum. › Continue reading…

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Wyckoff House (1652)

On my most recent trip to Brooklyn, I visited the Wyckoff Farmhouse, at 5816 Clarendon Road. Less than a century ago, this house was surrounded by farm fields and there were other Dutch colonial farm houses nearby. The Wyckoff House, isolated in Milton Fidler Park, now is surrounded by twentieth-century development. The oldest section of the house (on the right, in the image above) dates to 1652. Other rooms were added in the eighteenth and the first half of the nineenth century. › Continue reading…

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This post is in honor of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 200th Birthday (she was born June 14, 1811). Back in 2007, I visited Mandarin, Florida, where Harriet Beecher Stowe had a winter home she visited from 1867 to 1884. Her book, Palmetto Leaves (1873), is based on her experiences in Florida. Today, Mandarin is part of the city of Jacksonville, which has grown to become the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. Her cottage, called “Mandarin Home,” is no longer standing, but some other traces of Stowe’s Mandarin survive. › Continue reading…

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After visiting Trout Hall in Allentown, we drove out to Egypt, PA to see the Troxell-Steckel House, which is also owned by the Lehigh County Historical Society. In contrast to the English Georgian style of Trout Hall, the Troxell-Steckel House is a German farmhouse, built in 1756 by John Peter Troxell, who sold it to Peter Steckel in 1768. The property also includes a barn with a display of farming equipment. › Continue reading…

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On my recent trip to Pennsylvania, I also visited two sites in the Allentown area. The first was Trout Hall, the city’s oldest house, built in 1770 as a summer home for James Allen, son of Allentown’s founder, William Allen. Allen was a loyalist during the Revolutionary War, which led to a lot of trouble for him, as you can imagine. There’s a pdf document online with more info about the house. On the tour, visitors can hear all about Allen and his travails and also visit the modern Lehigh County Historical Society museum next door. The house had to be restored because it was later part of Muhlenberg College and got attached to other structures that were later demolished. › Continue reading…

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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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