7. John Jay Homestead
The John Jay Homestead was home to one of this country’s Founding Fathers, the President of the Continental Congress, the U.S. Secretary for Foreign Affairs, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the second governor of New York State, John Jay. The farmland had been purchased by Jay’s grandfather in 1703 and in 1799 Jay constructed a “comfortable” twenty-four-room house on the property. In 1801, after retiring from his life in politics, Jay retired to the farmhouse.
In 1958, the house and thirty acres of land were purchased by Westchester County (then transferred to New York State), which opened it to the public in 1964 as the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site. Guided tours allow visitors to view twelve beautifully furnished period rooms, restored to an 1820’s appearance. The public can also wander around the homestead’s sixty-two acres, which encompass formal gardens, rolling meadows, and a number of 19th-century farm buildings.