I vaguely remember visiting Philipsburg Manor as part of a school trip I went on when I was little. I didn’t remember much about its history, but I definitely remembered it was there, across the street from the well-known Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. I would never have imagined that I would marry someone with a direct connection to the place. I revisited Philipsburg Manor with my two boys in 2012. They were little, but we all really enjoyed the tour and education we received from the staff, dressed in their period costumes.
I highly recommend the visit. It’s an opportunity to walk in your ancestor’s footsteps! Not many get to do that. Feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more about how your Jurckse (Yerks) ancestors fit into Philipsburg Manor. Keep in mind the real Philipsburg Manor encompassed a large part of Westchester County.
You can learn more by visiting: https://visitsleepyhollow.com/see/philipsburg-manor/
Address: 381 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
The content below comes from a flyer I picked up during our visit.
Philipsburg Manor is a nationally significant survival of a colonial-era milling and trading complex that was owned by Anglo-Dutch merchants, rented in small plots by tenant farmers of diverse European backgrounds, and operated by a community of enslaved individuals of African descent. The agricultural products of the manor supplied both New York City and plantations in the West Indies with food.
By the middle of the 18th century, the Philipse family had accumulated over 52,000 acres of land in Westchester County, and Adolph Philipse was one of the wealthiest men in the colony of New York. The Philipses were also one of the largest slave-owning families in the colonial north. Twenty-three enslaved men, women, and children lived and worked at the Upper Mills quarters. Although by 1750, the institution of slavery was legal in all 13 of England’s North American colonies, northern slaveholders rarely owned more than two or three individuals.
At Philipsburg Manor, enslaved men and women like Ceaser, Dimond, Sue, and Massy provided the skilled labor necessary to operate a milling complex, a bakehouse, a farm, and a dairy as well as to pilot sloops up and down the Hudson River. Here at Philipsburg Manor, a community of enslaved individuals was formed a community that survived almost 100 years in spite of tremendous odds. Philipsburg Manor presents the history of northern colonial slavery and its relationship to the commercial, economic, and cultural development of New York. Costumed interpreters demonstrate aspects of daily life on a provisioning plantation circa 1750, talk about the issues affecting the communities and families that lived and labored at Philipsburg Manor, and discuss the contributions of enslaved Africans to the culture and economic success of the Hudson River Valley. We aspire to provoke thought, discussion, and insight into these issues.
Tickets for Philipsburg Manor; Museum Shop; Mint Café; picnic areas.
The Gristmill and Wharf
Reconstructed on its original site and built with traditional tools and techniques, the water-powered mill was the hub of the Philipse family enterprise. The highly skilled work of operating and maintaining the mill was the responsibility of an enslaved miller, Ceaser. The boat tied to the wharf is a reconstruction of a mid-18th-century bateau. In the 1750s, numerous types of watercraft plied the Hudson and Pocantico Rivers, transporting goods to and from Philipsburg Manor.
An original building restored to its mid-eighteenth-century appearance. The house functioned as a center of the Philipses’ Westchester County business operations and is representative of their power, status, and wealth.
The building is used as an activity and demonstration space. The space celebrates the diversity of African and European cultures along the Hudson River.
New World Dutch Barn
This 18th-century barn was built near Albany and later moved to its present location. The building was designed to suit the region’s agricultural emphasis on grain crops. In and around the barn are historic breeds of cattle, sheep, and chickens.
Slaves often supplemented rations provided by their owners with crops they raised in their own gardens. The historic varieties of vegetables and medicinal herbs had a wide range of uses. Garden maps are available at the entrance to the garden.