Insider's Guide: Historic Houses
Historic houses the check out in the Valley
CLERMONT STATE HISTORIC SITE
Home of Chancellor Robert Livingston: a drafter of Declaration of Independence, negotiator of Louisiana Purchase. Erected 1740, rebuilt 1778; reflects seven generations of family. Carriage trails for hiking, riding; picnic area, garden tours, visitors center. Mansion tours: Apr. 1-Oct. 31: Nov. 1-Mar. 31: weekends only. $6, $4 seniors and students, children under 12 free; group rates. Grounds free year-round (parking fee on weekends & Mon. holidays Apr.-Oct.), 8:30 a.m.-dusk. Groups by appt.
LUYKAS VAN ALEN HOUSE
Restored 1737 Dutch farmhouse; mid 18th–century Dutch furniture, decorative art. Tour includes visit to 1850 Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse. Little-known fact: Washington Irving’s tale of Ichabod Crane was based on Jesse Merwin, school’s first teacher. Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day weekend, Thurs.-Sun. Groups by appt. $3, $2 seniors & children, free under 12.
MARTIN VAN BUREN NATIONAL
HISTORIC SITE (LINDENWALD)
Kinderhook. 518-758-9689. www.nps.gov/mava
Tours 7 days a week, by appt. May 21st-Oct. 31st, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. every hour on the hour.
Hopewell Junction. 845-227-4136
Circa 1750 Dutch-style house restored by E. Fishkill Historical Society. Carriage house displays two local sleighs. Recently moved an 1820, one-room schoolhouse to the site. Tours June-Aug., Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT NATIONAL
HISTORIC SITE (VAL-KILL)
Hyde Park. 845-229-9115; www.nps.gov/elro
Primarily used as a recreation site, Val-Kill became Eleanor Roosevelt’s permanent residence following her husband’s death. Guided tour, video, self-guided tour of gardens available. Nov.-Apr.: Thurs.-Mon. ; May 1-Oct. 31: daily $8, free under 15.
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE
Hyde Park. 845-229-9115; www.nps.gov/hofr
FDR’s lifelong home decorated as it was at time of his death in 1945. Nearby FDR Library & Museum and Rose Garden with graves of President and Mrs. Roosevelt. Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Library/museum/house $14, free under 16. Shuttle-bus access to FDR’s Top Cottage retreat, Thurs.-Mon. , 1 & Handicapped accessible. Advance reservations suggested; 845-229-5320. $8.
Circa 1767 brick Georgian; home to loyalist Rev. John Beardsley until 1777. By appt. $2. Call for free open house.
Historical Society of Quaker hill and pawling/JOHN KANE HOUSE
Pawling. 845-855-9316; www.pawlinghistory.org
THE SAMUEL MORSE HISTORIC SITE
Home of painter and inventor of the telegraph. Georgian house redesigned by A. J. Davis into spacious Tuscan villa circa 1850. W.H. Young purchased home in 1901. Young family furnishings and Morse memorabilia. 150 acres of riverfront, hiking trails, picnic facilities, restored gardens. Tours: May-Nov. Grounds: year-round, 8 a.m. to dusk. $9 adults, $5 children 6-18.
MADAM BRETT HOMESTEAD
Built in 1709; oldest house in county. 17th-century furnishings, paintings; dolls, gowns of 18th-19th centuries. May-Dec., first Sun. of every month, $3.