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Once the headquarters
of an enormous Hudson Valley manor, Philipsburg Manor
interprets aspects of the history of colonial New
York and the system of racially-based slavery which
helped keep the estate running in the 18th century.
Philipsburg Manor is a
late 17th/early 18th-century milling, farming, and
trading complex owned by an Anglo-Dutch family of
merchants, tenanted by farmers of diverse European
backgrounds, and operated by enslaved Africans. In
1693, Frederick Philipse -- a carpenter who rose to
become the richest man in the colony of New York --
was granted a charter for 52,000 acres along the Hudson
River by William and Mary of England. Historically,
the site is of particular interest because of the
size of the enslaved community and the highly developed
nature of this 18th-century commercial property.
Featuring a stone manor
house filled with a collection of 17th-and 18th-century
period furnishings, the site also includes a working
water-powered grist mill and millpond, an 18th-century
barn, a slave garden, and a reconstructed tenant farm
house. The grounds are home to historic breeds of
cattle, sheep, and chickens.
Guides in 18th-century
costume conduct tours of the site, and special events
are held throughout the year. On the day of our visit
the Pinkster Festival was in full swing.