Thomas Paine Cottage Museum, last building in North America owned by Paine
The Thomas Paine Cottage in New Rochelle, New York in the United States, was the home from 1802 to 1806 of Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense and Revolutionary War hero. Paine was buried near the cottage from his death in 1809 until his body was disinterred in 1819. It was one of a number of buildings located on the 300 acre farm given to Paine by the State of New York in 1784, in recognition of his services in the cause of Independence. It was here in August 1805 that he wrote his last pamphlet, which was addressed to the citizens of Philadelphia on "Constitutional Reform".
The cottage has been owned by the "Huguenot & New Rochelle Historical Association" and has been operated as a historic house museum since 1910. The cottage is open to the public every Thursday, Saturday & Sunday from 10- 5 p.m. There are numerous events scheduled at the cottage throughout the year. In addition, the cottage hosts many local school field trips.
The park in which Paine's Cottage now stands is a very small section of the Thomas Paine farm. The 277-acre farm was originally owned by the Tory Frederick DeVeaux, but was confiscated after the war. 320 acres including the farm were presented to Paine in 1784 by act of the New York State Legislature for his service. The stone house occupied by DeVeaux was destroyed by fire in 1793 and replaced with the cottage while Paine was in Europe. The current cottage was built in 1793 near the site of the DeVeaux house on the south side of Paine Lane, now called Paine Avenue. This house was built in two parts, the present westerly section, soon after 1793, and the easterly addition probably about 1804. Paine owned the property for twenty five years and appears to have leased it a large part of the time.
The erection of the Thomas Paine Monument in 1839 was followed by several attempts to preserve the cottage in which Paine had lived as an additional Memorial. One of the most ambitious of these was in 1850 when not only the cottage itself was purchased, but also a considerable part of the original farm. This project was later abandoned and the property sold. It was not until 1908 that the efforts to preserve the cottage were successful. In that year it became necessary either to remove the house to a new location or demolish it outright. The owner, Charles W. Seer, generously gifted it to the Huguenot & New Rochelle Historical Association who in turn approved the purchase of the park in which the cottage now stands, which was a portion of the Paine farm. The cottage was removed to its present site, repaired, and outfitted as a museum and historical headquarters. It was dedicated on July 14, 1910, and formally opened to the public.