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The People

Colonial History

As one of the first places in the New World to be settled by the Europeans, New York became a hotspot of activity. First colonised in the 17th Century by the Dutch and then later under British rule; New York was the most diverse of the nation’s 13 colonies, and a leader in politics, commerce, religious tolerance and culture.

Many of the surviving homes these pioneers built are open to the public – and are fascinating not only for their architecture and artefacts, but for the stories of the families who lived there.

Explore early trading routes, and visit the sites of some of the key battles during the Seven Years War. New York’s rich Colonial History can help visitors learn more about the nation’s earliest struggles to find an identity.  

Discover: Who the earliest New York pioneers were

Understand: The people of America through the ages

Experience: Rich and beautiful Colonial architecture 

If you like Colonial History, you will love...

  • Historic Cherry Hill, Albany, Capital Saratoga - Is a stately Georgian Colonial house dating back to 1787, it has been the home of five generations of the powerful Van Rensselaer and Rankin families. Their possessions are on display as part of the guided tour that recounts the dramatic story of the family's 176-year occupancy. www.historiccherryhill.org 
  • Fort Ticonderoga, Adirondacks - The scene of America's first Revolutionary War victory, when Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold led a small band of Green Mountain Boys to capture the British fort only three weeks into the rebellion. The site includes the restored fort, museum galleries, a library and 2000 beautiful acres overlooking Lake Champlain. www.fortticonderoga.org
  • Bronck Museum, Hudson Valley - The HQ of the Greene County Historical Society, is a complex of 11 structures that were once part of the prosperous Bronck farm. The original stone dwelling, built in 1663, is the oldest surviving home in the Hudson Valley. www.gchistory.org 
  • The Farmers' Museum, Cooperstown, Central NYS - An impressively rich historic village and working farmstead, circa 1845, and one of the oldest living history museums in the country. www.farmersmuseum.org

For more must-see attractions and itinerary ideas for exploring Colonial History in New York State click here.

For further information on A Path Through History...click here


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