Van Cortlandt House Museum

Van Cortlandt House Museum Van Cortlandt House Museum - where history lives in The Bronx! Since 1896, Van Cortlandt House Museum has been under the stewardship of The National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York through a license agreement with the City of New York.
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The Society is responsible for preserving and restoring the interiors, providing and caring for the collections, offering educational opportunities to school children throughout New York City, and assuring that the doors to Van Cortlandt House are open to visitors 6 days a week all year round.

Operating as usual

Anyone else see a face or is it just us? The phenomenon that causes some people to see or hear a vague or random image o...
03/26/2021

Anyone else see a face or is it just us? The phenomenon that causes some people to see or hear a vague or random image or sound as something significant is known as pareidolia (par-i-DOH-lee-a). It often shows up as seeing faces in things.

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#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy #pareidolia

Happy Spring!  Ivy leaves and robin's egg shell yet to come but they'll be here soon enough. ......#vchmnyc #thebronxisb...
03/20/2021

Happy Spring! Ivy leaves and robin's egg shell yet to come but they'll be here soon enough.

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#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy
#springisintheair #robinseggblue

There are so many tiny details that are so easily overlooked and yet speak with authenticity to the age and history of t...
03/10/2021

There are so many tiny details that are so easily overlooked and yet speak with authenticity to the age and history of the house. Seen here are the leather washers and hand forged nails attaching hardware to a door in the attic. The paint surface is original to c. 1750 when what is now commonly called the Dining Room wing was added as a quick mid-construction design change. Just as today, construction projects didn't always run smoothly in the 18th century. This "wing" which gave the house it's distinctive L-shaped plan was added to make space for the newly widowed Francis Jay Van Cortlandt who inherited the right to live in the house for the remainder of her life or until she remarried. Francis never remarried and continued to call Van Cortlandt House home for the next 30 years, living with her son James, his wife, and the enslaved workers who had sleeping quarters in the attic.

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#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museumfromhome
#enslavedpeopleproject

On this #internationalwomensday we salute our matriarchs who have come before us paving the way and who have kept our an...
03/08/2021

On this #internationalwomensday we salute our matriarchs who have come before us paving the way and who have kept our ancestors alive through the keeping of traditions, sharing of recipes, and telling of stories.

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#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy
#hhtnyc @hhtnyc

We are excited to announce that Adventures in Time Summer History Camp will be returning to Van Cortlandt House Museum t...
03/04/2021

We are excited to announce that Adventures in Time Summer History Camp will be returning to Van Cortlandt House Museum this summer!

The program will be be featuring a wider range of adventures and areas of "study" (yeah, we know this is camp but the kids DO learn while having fun). Rest assured that we will be taking every precaution to keep both our campers and staff safe with all activities being held outdoors, frequent hand washing and use of hand sanitizer, and no sharing of food or beverages. As in past years, enrollment is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Please send any questions about camp or this completed registration form to: [email protected]

We've been busy (and are busy) creating new virtual content for Van Cortlandt House Museum. Watch this space for an anno...
03/03/2021

We've been busy (and are busy) creating new virtual content for Van Cortlandt House Museum. Watch this space for an announcement of the launch and for a link to our new YouTube channel.

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#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy
#virtualvancortlandt #pathwaystothepast #collectioncloseups

We had the very unexpected honor of being part of Sam's surprise proposal to Adina this afternoon.  He handed us  the ri...
02/19/2021

We had the very unexpected honor of being part of Sam's surprise proposal to Adina this afternoon. He handed us the ring and the sign to hide in our gift shop while they were in the house on their tour. Sam was well prepared having stuffed flowers, Prosecco, and glasses into his backpack.

It was a bright spot on an otherwise cold snowy day! When asked why Van Cortlandt House, Sam explained that they enjoyed visiting historic houses and Adina's had family that grew up in the neighborhood. Congratulations Sam and Adina, we wish you every happiness.

While we approve of getting engaged here, it's important to note that we do not hold weddings, birthday parties, bridal or baby showers at the museum. We do rent our Herb Cellar for meetings to generate income for the Museum to help fund special projects and educational opportunities.

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#shesaidyes #marriageproposal #surprise
#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy

President's Day, the observation of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Many of our visitors are dra...
02/15/2021

President's Day, the observation of the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Many of our visitors are drawn to Van Cortlandt House because "George Washington slept here" but the goal is to leave them with a fuller history of the site.

In the early years of Van Cortlandt House, before there were enough objects to fully furnish it as a house, the West Parlor was a "shrine" to George Washington. On display were fragments of cloth including this piece of " Washington's Bed Curtains" and pieces of two gowns supposed to have been owned and worn by Martha Washington. We still hold these items in storage for future research but they haven't been on exhibit to represent the story of Van Cortlandt House for almost 100 years.

Washington was here for, at the most, only 10 out of the nearly 100,000 days that Van Cortlandt House has stood. As such, the focus of our interpretation has evolved over the years to represent the other people who lived and worked here both and after the house was built. One of the greatest things about working with a historic site is the possibility to literally learn something new every day. It's what keeps us going. We invite you along on this voyage of discovery and invite you back to see how things change.

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#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #enslavedpeoplesprojectvcp #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy #museummonday

Just in time to share with your sweetheart, a Valentine's greeting from handsome Manny.   We're just over 3 months away ...
02/12/2021

Just in time to share with your sweetheart, a Valentine's greeting from handsome Manny. We're just over 3 months away from the return of landscaping goats to the Van Cortlandt House lawn and we can't wait!

Of all the projects we've partnered on with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, this has to be our favorite.

#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtparkalliance #nationalhistoriclandmark #nyclandmark #newyorkcity #bronxny #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy #vcpgoats #invasivespecies #eatingforaliving #bronxkids @vcpalliance
@green_goats_rhinebeck
馃崈 #bemyvalentine #mannygoat #sweetheart

Just in time to share with your sweetheart, a Valentine's greeting from Patches.  We're about 3 minutes away from the re...
02/12/2021

Just in time to share with your sweetheart, a Valentine's greeting from Patches. We're about 3 minutes away from the return of landscaping goats to the Van Cortlandt House lawn.

Of all the projects we'vr partnere on with the Van Cortlandt Park Alliance, this has to be our favorite.

#vchmnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtparkalliance #nationalhistoriclandmark #nyclandmark #newyorkcity #bronxny #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy #vcpgoats #invasivespecies #eatingforaliving #bronxkids @vcpalliance
@green_goats_rhinebeck
馃崈 #bemyvalentine #patchesthegoat #sweetheart

We're busy putting plans together for the return of our popular Adventures in Time Summer History Camp. One of the most ...
02/09/2021

We're busy putting plans together for the return of our popular Adventures in Time Summer History Camp. One of the most popular games played by our campers throughout the week is hoop rolling. This #tiletuesday post looks forward to warmer days when we can get back outside for some hoop rolling.

Interested in camp? Request more information by email to: [email protected].

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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #historycamp #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy

We're closing early today, Sunday February 7th, at 2:00 pm.  Time to break out those shovels again.  Stay safe and warm....
02/07/2021

We're closing early today, Sunday February 7th, at 2:00 pm. Time to break out those shovels again. Stay safe and warm. We'll be back open on Friday!

#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #snowday #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy

Van Cortlandt House Museum is will be closing early today - as of 2:00 p.m. so that our staff can get off the road and h...
02/07/2021

Van Cortlandt House Museum is will be closing early today - as of 2:00 p.m. so that our staff can get off the road and home safely.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

One of the most frequently asked questions about Andrew Saxton, an enslaved man owned by Jacobus Van Cortlandt, has to d...
02/05/2021

One of the most frequently asked questions about Andrew Saxton, an enslaved man owned by Jacobus Van Cortlandt, has to do with what became of him after he ran away from Jacobus in August of 1733.聽 We know of Saxton because of the advertisement for his return placed by Jacobus in the New York Gazette in September of 1733. As with most runaway slave advertisements, the one for Saxton describes him in detail including a listing of the tools of his trade as cooper that he took with him and the clothes he had on when he left.聽 As helpful as this ad is for us as historians, a huge piece of information is missing.聽 We have yet to find any answers about what became of Saxton.聽 Was he returned for the reward?聽 Did he return on his own?聽 Did he make his way to freedom?聽 Unfortunately, we don鈥檛 have any account books for Jacobus Van Cortlandt that might show a reward being paid.聽 Maybe some day the ongoing research into the history of slavery and enslaved people on the Van Cortlandt Plantation will uncover what did become of Andrew Saxton.聽 Until then, we don鈥檛 make up stories about what might have happened to him because they wouldn鈥檛 be truthful.聽

If you would like to read the true story of a runaway slave whose story is known, we recommend Never Caught, the Washington鈥檚 Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar.聽 Dunbar tells the story of Ona with an unflinching eye, shedding light on a less admirable side to George and Martha Washington. 聽Ona鈥檚 story is compelling and helps us better understand some of the situations Andrew Saxton might have faced in his pursuit of freedom.聽 聽

馃摲 New York Gazette from the New York Historical Society

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#vchmnycreadinglist
#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #enslavedpeoplesprojectvcp #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy
#andrewsaxton #museumsarenotneutral
@nyhistory

Today is World Read Aloud Day.  For your out loud reading enjoyment, we recommend the poetry of Phillis Wheatley.Her poe...
02/03/2021
On Imagination by Phillis Wheatley - Poems | Academy of American Poets

Today is World Read Aloud Day. For your out loud reading enjoyment, we recommend the poetry of Phillis Wheatley.

Her poem On Imagination seems particularly fitting for our current situation in the northeast where up to 2 feet of snow fell over the last few days. On Imagination includes a stanza in which Wheatley asks her reader to imagine a perpetual Spring amid the challenge of Winter.

"Though Winter frowns to Fancy鈥檚 raptur鈥檇 eyes
The fields may flourish, and gay scenes arise;
The frozen deeps may break their iron bands,
And bid their waters murmur o鈥檈r the sands.
Fair Flora may resume her fragrant reign,
And with her flow'ry riches deck the plain;
Sylvanus may diffuse his honours round,
And all the forest may with leaves be crown鈥檇:
Show鈥檙s may descend, and dews their gems disclose,
And nectar sparkle on the blooming rose."

The full text of Wheatley's poem can be found here: https://poets.org/poem/imagination

Phillis Wheatley Peters was born in West Africa in 1753. At the age of eight, she was kidnapped, enslaved in New England, and sold to John Wheatley of Boston. The first African-American and one of the first women to publish a book of poetry in the colonies, Wheatley learned to read and write English by the age of nine, familiarizing herself with Latin, Greek, the Bible, and selected classics at an early age. She began writing poetry at thirteen, modeling her work on the English poets of the time, particularly John Milton, Thomas Gray, and Alexander Pope.

On Imagination - Thy various works, imperial queen, we see,

#peepshow or should that be peep snow?  Either way, it's still a mess in Van Cortlandt Park so be careful out there. We ...
02/02/2021

#peepshow or should that be peep snow? Either way, it's still a mess in Van Cortlandt Park so be careful out there.

We do want to give a shout out to all the Parks workers doing their best to keep up with this storm. THANK YOU, your hard work is appreciated!

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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #enslavedpeoplesprojectvcp #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy
#winterinnewyork #noreaster #snow

#peepshow or should that be peep snow?  Either way, it's still a mess in Van Cortlandt Park so be careful out there. We ...
02/02/2021

#peepshow or should that be peep snow? Either way, it's still a mess in Van Cortlandt Park so be careful out there.

We do want to give a shout out to all the Parks workers doing their best to keep up with this storm. THANK YOU, your hard work is appreciated!

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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #enslavedpeoplesprojectvcp #museumfromhome
#museumssparkjoy
#winterinnewyork #noreaster #snow

Bitter cold days like today where the wind whips the snow into deep drifts are a sober reminder of the hard work it took...
02/01/2021

Bitter cold days like today where the wind whips the snow into deep drifts are a sober reminder of the hard work it took to keep this house warm. It took a tremendous amount of labor, unquestionably by the enslaved people owned by the Van Cortlandts.

A household in a northern colony like New York used an average of 35 cords of wood per year.聽 A cord of wood is a neatly stacked pile measuring 8 feet long by 4 feet high by 4 feet wide.聽 The more fireplaces in a house, the more firewood used.聽 Van Cortlandt House had above the average number of fireplaces with 7 exclusively for heating and at least one more for cooking and possibly another dedicated to heating water for laundry and bathing.聽 This number of fireplaces could easily have doubled the family鈥檚 consumption of wood to 70 cords per year.聽 Every piece of firewood started as a tree that had to be felled, cut to size, split, stacked to dry, moved closer to the house, and then brought into the聽house to burn.

It was a relentless task only somewhat less difficult in Summer when only the fireplaces for cooking and heating water were in use.

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#vchmnyc @hhtnyc #thebronxisbeautiful #nscdny @nscda #historichousecrush #historyhappenedhere #thebronx #kingsbridge #vancortlandtpark #18thcentury #colonialny #nationalhistoriclandmark
#nyclandmark #nationalregister #iloveny #newyorkcity #bronxny #materialculture #museumfromhome #intheboogiedown #thisisnyc #museum #enslavedpeoplesprojectvcp #museumfromhome #noreaster
#storm #enslavedlabor

Address

Van Cortlandt Park Broadway At W. 246th St.
New York, NY
10471-4198

#1 subway to 242nd St./Van Cortlandt Park, #9 Bronx bus to 246th St. stop

Opening Hours

Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 17:00
Sunday 09:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(718) 543-3344

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Comments

During last month I sent you a couple of e-mails. Three times to a general museum e-mail address and once to the Director, Ms. Carpenter Myers. But I never got any answer from Van Cortlandt House Museum and I wonder why. I need your help for the academic book I am finishing. With best regards, Prof. Piotr Oczko-Morgenbesser, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
Hi there. Is the museum's dollhouse on permanent display? I'd like to visit and want to make sure it is available for viewing. Thank you
Chirstmas Decoration
Staircase decorated for Christmas
Christmas Decoration
This is a wonderful place to visit! So much history here, and on a beautiful property as well.