See Van Cortlandt Manor in a new light this summer


Saturday, 5/21/2016 3:21pm

Although it may be hard to imagine when its front lawn is covered with jack o'lanterns (Blaze), Van Cortlandt Manor, the historic site that hosts these events, has a compelling story to tell about the people and events that shaped the Hudson Valley during the American Revolution and the New Nation period that followed.

In fact, the Van Cortlandts were one of New York State’s most prominent families. The manor’s founder, Pierre Van Cortlandt, served as the state’s first lieutenant governor and the manor was the center of this influential family’s social, political, and economic world.

This summer Historic Hudson Valley introduces enhanced tours that will bring aspects of the Manor’s rich history to life. The focus and activities will revolve around three distinct themes, each highlighting a different aspect of early American life. The themes are:

Uncertain Times - Politics of Early America - June 30-July 4, July 7-9, 14-16

Nature's Bounty: From Farm to Table in Early America  - July 21-23, 28-30, Aug. 4-6

Colors of the Past – Aug. 11-13, 18-20, 25-27

Enhanced tours of the Manor and Ferry houses will reflect the theme of the day. Visitors will discover special objects from Historic Hudson Valley’s collection on display. Interpreters will highlight objects that are not normally focused on and will incorporate relevant quotes from the Van Cortlandt family papers, giving visitors insight into life on the manor.

In addition to the tours, visitors will participate in special activities. Depending on the theme that day, these might include:

  • Cooking and preparing celebratory foods
  • Writing with a quill pen, including creating your own letter to be sent along the “post road”
  • Making netting to fish in the waters surrounding the manor
  • Candle-making
  • A textiles workshop highlighting the importance of homemade cloth in the post-Revolution period.

Through this combination of new materials, a focus on themes, and fun activities, visitors to Van Cortlandt Manor will gain a fresh perspective on the site and the people who lived and worked there during a time when a new nation was finding its way in the world. 

Van Cortlandt Manor is open to timed tours Fridays-Sundays (plus July 3-4) in July and August. Learn more

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