One of our contentions at the Hudson River Valley Institute has always been that you can go anywhere by starting exactly where you are. The closest I ever came to losing this argument was at a Teaching American History conference with a gentleman from New Mexico. “It’s easy for you – the Hudson Valley has nearly 400 years of colonial history and documented prehistory before that,” he said “all we have are aliens (Roswell) and those German POW scientists from WWII.” (He had just finished a presentation about the latter). But he went on to explain that even in that state’s most isolated towns, there was at least one war memorial with the names of local soldiers who served their country, and when they shipped out, they charted a course around the nation and the world leaving a path for students today to trace through history. [Read more…] about Poughkeepsie’s Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Historic Huguenot Street has announced that it has reached an agreement with Locust Grove in Poughkeepsie to transfer to it the properties and collections of Locust Lawn located in the town of Gardiner, New York. The agreement is result of months of planning to reunite the family homes of Annette Innis Young, who was responsible for establishing both estates as protected historic sites.
Transferring ownership and “reuniting” these two estates fulfills the original vision of Annette Young. It was Miss Young’s desire to jointly preserve the Locust Lawn and Locust Grove estates under one organizational umbrella hoping “the foundation will maintain these houses as an example of the lives of three generations of a wealthy and cultured Hudson Valley family.” Unfortunately, she was unable to achieve this during her lifetime.
As an alternative, she donated Locust Lawn to Historic Huguenot Street (which was then known as the Huguenot Historical Society), an organization in which she was already involved. Upon her death in 1975, Annette Young’s will established a not-for-profit educational corporation to preserve Locust Grove and its contents in perpetuity for the “enjoyment, visitation, and enlightenment of the public.”
The Locust Grove Estate was purchased by Annette Young’s father, William Young in 1901. The Young family cherished Locust Grove’s extensive grounds and historic buildings and added their own important collections of furniture, paintings and ceramics.
Locust Lawn is located on Route 32 South in Gardiner. It features an historic federal-style home was built in 1814 by Josiah Hasbrouck, a businessman and gentleman farmer whose ancestors were among those that founded New Paltz. Josiah Hasbrouck was Annette Young’s great-great grandfather and a U.S. congressman. The Hasbrouck family left Locust Lawn in 1885, leaving behind 70 years of finery and furnishings. The house was a repository of family history for another 70 years until it was donated to Historic Huguenot Street by Annette Young in 1958.
In addition to transferring the property and collections of Locust Lawn, Historic Huguenot Street will donate its adjoining properties, which include the historic Terwilliger stone house as well as the Little Wings Bird Sanctuary and Meadow. The Terwilliger House will continue to be protected as a historic building, open to the public. The existing protections on the Little Wings Bird Sanctuary and the Conservation Agreement on the Meadow also will remain in place with the transfer of the properties. Together, all of these properties preserve the core of the estate created by Josiah Hasbrouck.
The executive directors of the respective organizations have cooperated over the years to ensure that the collections and history have stayed linked to each other. These connections led to the formal transfer that is now taking place.
It is anticipated that Locust Grove will assume ownership and management of Locust Lawn by the end of August. Under the terms of the transfer, which has already been approved by the boards of both organizations, all restrictions placed on the property by Annette Young at the time she gifted the site will remain in effect. In the short term, the site will continue to be open to the public by appointment. Locust Grove plans an expanded program of public events in the future.
Photo: Locust Lawn Front Facade Courtesy of Historic Huguenot Street.