Van Cortlandt Manor
Croton On Hudson, NY
Notes: Accessible by either car or train (Amtrak or Metro North)
The Van Cortlandt Manor was conceived in 1697 when Stephanus Van Cortlandt bought 86,000 acres of land from the Kitchtawanc Indians and European landowners. In 1758 Pierre Van Cortlandt built the stone and brick manor house and increased his own personal holdings to over 4,000 acres. He would work concurrently as a transportation agent, land developer, rent collector, landlord, commercial farmer, saw-and gristmill proprietor, and tavern owner. During the Revolutionary War, Pierre and his family moved out of the manor because it was located in the middle of the Neutral Ground, a major battleground of the civil war between Tories and Rebels. Raiders on both sides pillaged it over the course of the war. Pierre was elected New York's first lieutenant governor in 1777 and his son Philip fought at Saratoga.
A National Historic Landmark, the 18th-century stone manor house is the centerpiece of the property. It features a fine collection of Georgian and Federal period furnishings, many original to Van Cortlandt Manor. Also on the grounds is an eighteenth century tavern situated on the historic Albany Post Road at the site of a ferry crossing over the Croton River. Adjacent to the tavern is a reconstructed tenant house where cooking, spinning and weaving demonstrations occur frequently. Visitors to the site learn about the people who lived and worked here during the New Nation era: Van Cortlandt family members, enslaved Africans, tenant farmers, and ferry keepers.
NYS Thruway (I– 87) cross the Tappan Zee Bridge and exit immediately after toll at Exit 9 North Route 9 Tarrytown. At the light at the end of the exit ramp, turn right onto Route 9 North. Continue approximately 9 miles to Croton Point Avenue exit. Turn right at end of exit ramp; turn right again at traffic light onto South Riverside Avenue. Continue to end of South Riverside Avenue.
Research Patron: Atwood Collins