Town of Colonie Cultural Center
207 Old Niskayuna Road, P.O. Box 212
Newtonville, NY 12128
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Weekend Hours: Special events and tours by appointment
Notes: E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Casparus Francis Pruyn had a house built in 1830 as a country estate for his rapidly expanding family. Pruyn was a sixth generation of the family to reside in America. Ann Hewson, Casparus Francis Pruyn’s wife had several children. One of their sons, Robert Hewson Pruyn, was educated at Albany Academy, Rutgers College, and studies Law. Robert later founded Albany Law School with a group of investors and close colleagues. In the mid 1800’s, Robert was chosen to serve as an envoy to Japan, appointed by President Lincoln.
Robert Dunbar, Casparus's uncle, was an employee of the VanRensselaer Manor and probably gave Casparus the property as no deed is apparent until it was sold in 1848, two years after his death. In 1848 the property of 114 acres sold for $3,800 to Alfred Mayell. Subsequently the property was resold many times thereafter.
In 1893, the property was purchased from an Albany County land auction by John H. Henkes, Jr. and wife, Carrie who had lived on an adjoining farm. Their son, William, their two daughters Catherine and Mary, and later their husbands, Henry S. Bailley and Lloyd Haswell, used the then forty acre parcel as a working farm.
The property has preserved much of the historical elements that once made it a robust working farm. The family’s maintained a truck garden and raised prize horses and cattle. The outbuildings consisted of barns, a carriage house, stables, smokehouse, well-house, a combined storage and outhouse, a potting shed and a greenhouse where they started the summer crops. The Stables and barn were destroyed by fire damage in the early part of the century and the summer kitchen was removed to make way for a circular driveway. Few other structural changes have been made to the property. The original brick work, roof, plumbing, heating, windows, floors, some woodwork, and a kitchenette have been refurnished to preserve the main elements of the house.
Northway I87 Exit #5
From the North, left on Rt. 155
From the South, right on Rt. 155
Turn onto Old Niskayuna Road
Pruyn House Cultural Center is 1/2 mile on the left