Arbor Hill

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The Floyd H. Lincoln Article

Arbor Hill, Fraser, Delaware Co., N.Y., Residence of John D. Clarke, Congressman Thirty-Fourth District, 1921–1925, “reprinted from an article by Floyd H. Lincoln and published in The Walton Reporter, June 6, 1925.

“The Trouble with the passing generations is the lack of appreciation for all that has gone before.”—(Excerpt from an address by Hon. John D. Clarke.) It was on an ideal afternoon in May that I stood on the bank of the Delaware river near Fraser, N.Y., and viewed at close range for the first time what is considered to be the finest example of colonial architecture in the Catskill region—the home of Hon. And Mrs. John D. Clarke. For, during the many years that this house has weathered, passing from the hands of one owner to another, strangely enough it has been carefully preserved, altered in design almost not at all, so that its original lines remain today and its appearance is that of a fine old country home of a century and a quarter ago.

Photo courtesy Mrs. Marion Dent

I crossed the river and loitered for a moment on the terrace under the friendly trees that have grown old with the house and have spread their protecting branches far over its roof. Patches of sunlight danced across the terrace flagging as the breeze freshened and gently waved the tops of the old forest monarchs to and fro. Birds sang sweetly as they flitted about the lawn shrubbery. I fell to dreaming of the days of a century before. It was such an easy and natural thing to do amidst those surroundings. What tales of famous guests, of tea parties on the terrace and of sumptuous dinners of long ago the old house might tell if it only had a voice. What harmless gossip it might relay to one’s ears of lovers’ trysts under starlit skies on the bank of the river; of old-time weddings and celebrations, the merry-making of years gone by; and of the tragedies that no doubt fell upon it unaware.

Still musing I walked back to the bridge the better to view the house and its surroundings. Here my meditation was pleasantly interrupted by the approach of Mr. Clarke, who came toward me, his fishing tackle in one hand, the other outstretched in welcome. He did not appear at all the busy man, prominent in affairs of both state and nation, but rather the typical country gentleman with a few hours’ leisure to spend in his favorite sport, trout fishing.

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Together we went around to the front entrance and with a courtesy and friendliness long to be remembered he guided me about the historic old house, answering at length my questions, explaining this or that and relating occasionally an interesting anecdote about some particular thing.

The history of Mr. Clarke’s home begins with the man who built it, Ebenezer Foote, who was born in Connecticut, April 12, 1754. Nothing occurred in his younger life out of the ordinary until the War of the Revolution. The Footes were inclined to be loyal to the King, but not so with young Ebenezer. When his father learned that his son’s sympathies lay with the Colonists he expostulated with him in a more or less forceful manner. Whereupon, Ebenezer ran away from his home, made his way across the country and joined the Colonial forces near Boston. He fought at the battle of Bunker Hill and later so attracted the attention of General Washington that he was promoted, in time became a major and served for a while on the staff of the great commander-in-chief.

In course of events he was captured by the British and imprisoned in New York City. There he suffered much from privation and would have died had he not managed to escape. In order to get through the enemy’s lines and rejoin the Americans, who were in winter quarters in New Jersey, he swam the Hudson River, aided somewhat by a plank that he had pried loose from a wharf. It was a bitter December night and it was almost miraculous that he was not exhausted and drowned. Nevertheless, in spite of the perils attendant to such a course, he gained the Jersey shore and finally made his way into the American camp. But he never recovered entirely from the exposure.

At the close of the war he engaged in business in the City of [p. 3] Newburgh and served in the New York State Legislature form that district. In 1796-97 the County of Delaware (New York) was formed and Major Foote, who had been instrumental in getting necessary legislation enacted, at once moved into the new county. He was appointed as the first county clerk on March 30, 1797. Up to that time he had received but little in pay for his services as an officer in the American ranks during the Revolution. A tract of land below Delhi, now the county seat, had been granted him as partial remuneration and so he decided to settle upon it. Accordingly, in that year, 1797, he commenced the erection of the house (now the property of Mr. Clark), calling the estate “Arbor Hill,” the name which Mr. Clarke uses today.

It must have taken months to complete the construction of Major Foote’s dwelling, for workmen were craftsmen in every sense of the word in those days and they built well. The house bears witness to the fact that a hundred and twenty-eight years later.

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As one enters through the front doorway, charming in its colonial design, the eye is immediately held captive by the large and altogether splendid proportions of the hall which reaches from the front to the rear of the house. From this hall there leads to the second story the main staircase, the “grand stair case,” it might be called, from its imposing appearance, its railing of simple but nevertheless wonderful style, its panelling of the most splendid workmanship imaginable. In fact that is one of the things that strikes the visitor most forcibly—the wonderful panelling of the walls of many of the rooms. While standing in one room, which was about twelve feet square, I counted on the four walls over one hundred panels, exquisitely done. There are perhaps eight or ten other rooms similarly paneled. When one considers that the lumber that went into such work must necessarily have been sawed and planed by hand, it is easily comprehended that the building of such a house was no small undertaking.

Photo: msm

The library has handsome arched doorways with deep mouldings. There is a built-in bookcase of fine workmanship and [p. 4] a capacious fireplace with a splendidly wrought mantel. In all there are seven fireplaces in the house, two small ones with openings scarcely more than two feet square, three that are of ordinary size and two that are of large dimensions. One of the larger ones is in the living room and is very attractive. Perhaps the most interesting one, as well as the largest, is in the dining room in the basement. That room was apparently the kitchen in the old days, for there is found the fireplace just mentioned, built of brick and stone, with a large crane for hanging the big kettles that our ancestors used. The opening of this fireplace is five feet high and six feet across and the mantel is nearly out of reach of a tall man. To one side is the old Dutch oven where bread and pastry were baked over a century ago. This room is most attractive. From its windows one looks out over the terrace across the river to the fields and mountains beyond, as pleasant a view as anyone can wish for.

The hardware of the doors is worth special mention. Doorknobs are of brass, small and excellently fashioned. The locks are independent of the mechanism of the doorknobs and are of immense size, their iron cases being fully a foot long and more than half as wide. In the lock of the door at the end of the hall I discovered a ponderous iron key, several inches long, heavy and very antique in appearance.

When Major Foote built his manor house the upper Delaware Valley was still a new country with the dangers of outlawry and feuds, both political and private, that went with every frontier settlement. Concealed stairways and secret passages were often constructed in the homes of the influential and well-to-do. In this respect “Arbor Hill” was no exception, for it is said that there was built into the house a secret passage that led from the upper story down to the basement and outside. In recent years many have come to doubt this, calling it just an old wives’ tale, a myth. However, a short time ago, workmen, while making some alterations upstairs, discovered a shaft-like aperture that is believed to have once been a secret passage. It is evident that there was originally a spiral stairway inside the shaft for the accommodation of these who, although they may [p. 4] have entered the front portal with pomp and splendour, later found it necessary to leave suddenly without either their baggage or dignity. Oh! Those were stirring times. No doubt many an honorable man owed his life and liberty to “Arbor Hill’s” underground exit which led to the river.

It is a certainty that Major Foote had the esteem and respect of the public at large to such an extent as few men of his time could boast of. “Arbor Hill” was another word for hospitality and its guest over a period of years number many of the famous men and women of that age. The Van Rensselaers and the Livingstons were friends of the Foote family. General Schuyler, with whom Major Foote had formed a friendship while in the army, came on different occasions to visit at “Arbor Hill.” Martin Van Buren, already famous as a lawyer and state politician and beginning to be known nationally, was another who was entertained by Major Foote. DeWitt Clinton, the brilliant young statesman, destined to have his name permanently fixed in the annals of this country as the builder of the Erie Canal, was a guest of the Major’s. Aaron Burr, one of history’s most tragic figures, crossed the threshold of “Arbor Hill” on at least one occasion. Now, a century and a quarter later, that same hospitality is reflected in the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Clarke, who on more than one occasion have entertained at “Arbor Hill” those who stand high in the affairs of this nation and whose names are already recorded as famous in its history.

In passing it might be well to mention that Major Foote was a great uncle of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, their mother, Roxana Foote Beecher, being the daughter of his brother.

In 1810 Major Foote was appointed a county judge of Delaware County, which office he filled until his death. His appointments as judge were made in three instances by men of different political sentiments than he held, which is significant of the esteem in which he was regarded. On December 28, 1829, Judge foote died at the advanced age of seventy-five. In the Delaware Gazette (issue of December [p. 6] 30th) appeared an obituary notice written by General Leavenworth in which among other expressions of regret he wrote, “Our country has seldom, if ever, had to lament the death of one more highly esteemed.”

Grave of Ebenezer Foote, Arbor Hill, Delhi, New York.

He was buried in the private burying ground a short distance below “Arbor Hill.” On the monument erected over his grave was inscribed the following:

In Memory of

Ebenezer Foote, Esq.
who died Dec. 28, 1829, in his 75 year.

He was a man of spotless integrity, unwearied diligence, and perseverance, and by his own intellectual powers and moral worth, he arose to an enviable distinction in society and has left many memorials of honorable fame as a legacy to his Posterity. Cherish the Memory of the Wise, the Great and the Good!

In this cemetery is also buried his wife, Jerusha, who died in 1818, and other members of his family. To the left of Judge Foote’s grave is that of Rev. Ebenezer K. Maxwell, who was the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Delhi, known to history as the “Old Flats Church.”

While standing at the gate of this old burying ground I could not help but feel how well Mr. Clarke “cherishes the memory of the wise, the great and the good,” for the final resting place of those who helped lay the cornerstone of this country and bore the hardships of those early days with such fortitude, is to him hallowed ground and the care of that sacred spot is regarded by him as a special trust.

Why are there not more of that same mind? Then on the hills or in the valley about our country there would be no more ill-kept burying grounds such as are now seen so often and which should bring a blush of shame to the cheeks of those responsible.

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As I was about to take my leave of Mr. Clarke he mentioned that the following day would find him in New York City, where [p. 7] he would meet with other members of a committee interested in reforestation. That is the project that has been his chief concern for several years. In fact one might say that he is the father of reforestation, for he was foremost among those who saw the urgent need of replacing our rapidly diminishing forests and it was also he who, while congressman from this district, worked unceasingly until his measure for remedying the serious condition was finally adopted. Do not think that he does not carry into execution his theories, for on that May day the breeze that stirred the tops of the giant trees behind me, set row upon row of little spruces on the slopes below nodding their tiny heads. “Arbor Hill” is an actual demonstration of reforestation.

Of course, no one realizes better than Mr. Clarke that he with those of his generation will never reap the benefit of reforestation. It is for those who will come after that he is carrying on this wonderful work. A man of vision, a man of purpose, a man willing to work against great odds to accomplish that purpose. Such a man is Hon. John D. Clarke.

Arbor Hill, John D. Clarke Home Near Delhi, Where Reforestation Had Birth, Built 130 Years Ago 
Binghamton Press Bureau Albany, Jan. 20

Nestling among the foothills that form the western ramparts of the Catskills, on the east bank of the Delaware river, four miles below Delhi, In approximately the geographical center of Delaware county, is “Arbor Hill.”

To those unacquainted with the historic lore of the upper reaches of the Delaware the name perhaps conveys nothing, but to a Delaware resident it immediately brings to mind three reasons why it has really national significance; 1.—It Is one of the few remaining colonial mansions of Importance built in the early days of the Republic which stands practically unchanged from its original grandeur. 2.—-It was here, quite fittingly, that the practical application of the theory of reforestation had-its birth—the, plan which already has been adopted by 35 states of the union and upon which the advocates of the replenishment of the forests of the nation base their greatest hopes. 3.—It is the home of John D. Clarke., representative In Congress from the thirty-fourth district of New York from 1921 to 1925 and elected again last fall to serve his district from March 4 1927 to March 4, 1929, the author of the Clarke-McNary bill which has pointed the way to the practical application of reforestation.

There are many other reasons why “Arbor Hill” should remain in the memory of those who have visited It, but these are those which a Delaware county man will mention first and which are the background for the romanticism which seems to surround the place. Arbor Hill was built nearly I’M years ago by the first county clerk of the then recently formed county of Delaware. Today (n the main essentials it remains the same as when Its builder held his housewarming which was attended by some of the great men of the time in state and national affairs and their consorts.

Resembles Baronial Hall.

No baronial hall of old England or the European continent gives more the impression of feudal times. The approach.to the house from the main highway on the west side of the river is across a footbridge suspended between high, thick stone abutments and walls extending for some distance along the banks of the river. Nothing more is needed to remind the seeker for the romantic of the moat and drawbridge of the feudal castle of old. But should more be needed there is still the story of the old secret spiral staircase built into the walls of the house which led by underground passage to the river, so guests of the owner or members of his family might pass safely, beyond the lines of any marauding savages to bring aid from the outside when the place was besieged as often happened In the early days. Practically all signs of the underground passage have been, obliterated by time and the secret shaft which was rediscovered some years ago by workmen who were making some-modern- Improvements to the interior of the house has been walled in, but tales of thrilling and hair's breadth escapes from the mansion by Its means in the late days qX the eighteenth and the early days of the nineteenth centuries are still told by the older residents of the county as having been handed down to them by their ancestors.

The exterior of the house remains practically unchanged from the original. Inside some changes have been necessary to provide for modern Improvements and Twentieth Century standard of living demands, but even here every precaution has been taken to leave the original lines intact so far are possible. The house was built by Ebenezer Foote, who was born in Connecticut on April 12, 1764. When the Revolution broke out the Foote family was inclined to remain loyal to the King, but the sympathies of young Ebenezer were with the Colonists and he ran away from home to join the Colonial forces near Boston. He fought at Bunker Hill and eventually attracted the attention of General Washington, who promoted him until he became a major and a member of the staff of the commander-in-chief. He was captured, imprisoned in the prison ships of the British In New York harbor and escaped on a bitter December night by swimming the ice-filled Hudson to the New Jersey shore. He never fully recovered from this exposure.

After the war he entered business in Newburgh and served in the state Legislature from that district. When the county of Delaware was formed In 1796-97 he moved to the new county, of which he had been one of the promoters, and was appointed the first county clerk on March 30, 1797.

House Is 130 Years Old.

For his services in the war he had been given a grant of land near what now is Delhi and early In the year 1797 began the erection of his manor house. It is easy to conceive that its building must have taken months when one considers that the lumber that went into the work must haver been sawed and planed by hand. But that the workmen of that day were true craftsmen Is proven by the fact that In 1927, 130 years later, not one timber or even one smallest panel has been replaced and all apparently are as sound today as when first passed upon by the master builder. As one enters the front doorway, charming in its colonial design, the


"ARBOR HILL"

(Reprinted from "The Binghamton Press.") Arbor Hill was built nearly 130 years ago by the first county clerk of the then recently formed county of Delaware. Today in the main essentials it remains the same as when its builder held his house-warming which was attended by some of the great men of the time in state and national affairs and their consorts. No baronial hall of old England or the European continent gives more the impression of feudal times. The ap- proach to the bouse from the main highway on the west side of the river is across a footbridge suspended between high, thick stone abutments and walls extending for some distance along the banks of the river. Nothing more is needed to remind the seeker for the romantic of the moat and draw- bridge of the feudal castle of old. But should more be needed there is still the story of the old secret spiral staircase built into the walls of the house, which led by underground pas- sage to the river, so guests of the owner or members of his family might pass safely beyond the lines of any marauding savages to bring aid from the outside when the place was be- sieged as'often happened in the early days. Practically all signs of the underground passage have been obliterated by time and the secret shaft which was discovered by workmen who were making some modern improvements to the interior of the house has been walled in, but tales of thrilling and hairbreadth escapes from the mansion by its means in the late days of the eighteenth and the early days of the nine- teenth centuries are still told by the older residents of the county as having been handed down to them by their an- cestors. The exterior of the house remains practically unchanged from the original. Inside some changes have been necessary to provide for modern improvements and Twentieth Century standard of living demands, but even here every precaution

222 EBENEZER FOOTE—THE FOUNDER has been taken to leave the original lines intact so far as possible. The house was built by Ebenezer Foote, who was born in Connecticut on April 12, 1754. When the Revolution broke out the Foote family was inclined to remain loyal to the King, but the sympathies of young Ebenezer were with the Colonists and he ran away from home to join the Colonial forces near Boston. He fought at Bunker Hill and eventually attracted the attention of General Washington, who promoted him until he became a major and a member of the staff of the com- mander-in-chief. He was captured, imprisoned in the prison ships of the British in New York Harbor and escaped on a bitter December night by swimming the ice-lined Hudson to the New Jersey shore. He never fully recovered from this exposure. After the war he entered business in Newburgh and served in the State Legislature from that district. When the county of Delaware was formed in 1796-97 he moved to the new county, of which he had been one of the promoters, and was appointed the first county clerk on March 30, 1797. For his services in the war he had been given a grant of land near what now is Delhi and early in the year 1797 began the erection of his manor house. It is easy to conceive that its building must have taken months when one considers that the lumber that went into the work must have been sawed and planed by hand. But that the workmen of that day were true craftsmen is proven by the fact that in 1927, 130 years later, not one timber or even one smallest panel has been replaced and all apparently are as sound today as when first passed upon by the master builder. As one enters the front doorway, charming in its colonial design, the large and altogether splendid proportions of the hall which extends from front to rear of the house captures and holds the eye. From this hall to the second floor leads the "grand staircase," imposing in appearance with its railing of simple but truly wonderful design and its panelling of such splendid workmanship as to be the envy of mod- ern artists. This panelling, perhaps, is one of the most delightful things about the house. In one room alone, about 12 feet square, are more than 100 such panels, exquisitely done, and there are eight or 10 other rooms in the house similarly panelled, although not quite so large.

The library has massive arched doorways with deep mouldings and built-in bookcases of fine workmanship and a capacious fireplace with splendidly wrought mantel. In all there are seven fireplaces at Arbor Hill—two small 22C ones with openings scarcely more than two feet square, three that are of ordinary size and two that are of large dimensions. One of the larger ones is in the living room and is very attractive, but perhaps the most interesting as well as the largest is in the dining room in the basement. This apparently was the kitchen in the old days, for in the fireplace here, which is built of brick and stone, is a large iron crane on which to hang the kettles that our ancestors used for cooking their meals. The opening is five feet high and six feet across and the mantel is nearly out of the reach of a tall man. At one side is the old Dutch oven in which bread and pastry were baked more than a century ago. The hardware on the doors is all massive and hand-wrought. The door-knobs are small and exquisitely fashioned of brass. The locks are independent of the mechanism of the knobs and of immense size, their iron casings being fully a foot long and more than half as wide.

When Major Foote built Arbor Hill, the western reaches of the Catskills were sparsely settled, in fact were but one step removed from the wilderness. It was many days' Journey to the nearest settlements of any size and still the manor soon became widely known for its hospitality and some of the greatest statesmen of the times were entertained there. The Van Rensselaers and the Livingstons were close friends of the Foote family and were among the earliest guests at the manor, the early records show. General Schuyler also was a frequent visitor. Others who at one time or another enjoyed the ready hospitality of the pioneer were DeWitt Clinton, Martin Van Buren and Aaron Burr. Major Foote was appointed county judge of Delaware County in 1810 and held that office until his death on Dec. 28, 1829. He is buried in a little private burying ground a short distance below Arbor Hill. His grave is marked by a plain marble shaft bearing the inscription:

In memory of Ebenezer Foote, Esq., who died Dec. 28, 1829, in his 75th year. He was a man of spotless integrity, unwearied diligence, and perseverance, and by his own intellectual powers and moral worth, he arose to an enviable distinction in society and has left many memorials of honourable fame as legacy to his Posterity. Cherish the Memory of the Wise, the Great and the Good! Here also are buried his wife, Jerusha. who died in 1818. [224] other members of his family and the Rev. Ebenezer K. Maxwell, who was the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Delhi, known to history as the "Old Flats Church."

Mr. Clarke, into whose stewardship this remnant of a nearly forgotten era of hardship and romance has passed after many vicissitudes, believes that he is doing his best to obey the admonition contained in the last sentence of Major Foote's epitaph by loving care of the hallowed spot in which rest the remains of those who laid the corner-stone of old Delaware and in planting the seed which will bring back to her hills and dales the glory of her early days—her forests.

His residence at Arbor Hill three miles below the village, still remains in its pristine beauty of location and finish"

http://www.dcnyhistory.org/books/mundel.html Judge Foote was born 12 Apr 1756, in Connecticut. He enlisted in the United States service early in the Revolutionary war, and was a faithful soldier. He was in the battle of Bunker Hill, suffered at Valley Forge, was taken prisoner of war and confined in New York, and only escaped by swimming one of the rivers bounding the city. He was appointed to the rank of major for his meritorious conduct. After the war he was a merchant in Newburgh. He was a member of the Legislature in 1796 and 1797, when Delaware county was formed, and was active in bringing about its formation. He was made its first county clerk by appointment, filled the first offices of his town, was judge of the Court of Common Pleas, was in the State Senate from the old "middle district" four years, and sat in the council of appointment with Governor Jay and other notables. He removed to Delhi in 1797, and at once commenced the erection of his residence at Arbor Hill three miles below the village, which still remains in its pristine beauty of location and finish. From Gould's History of Delhi, New York,

The Cemetery:

Foote Family Cemetery, Arbor Hill Cemetery, Ebenezer and Jerusha Purdy Foote family homestead. Delhi, New York. Wording taken from the gravestones:

  • Edgerton, Henry J. — b. unknown d. Jun. 23, 1839
  • Foote, Charles Augustus — b. Apr. 15, 1785 d. Aug. 1, 1828. (This stone is currently down, horizontal, and in damaged condition, 2014 and 2016. —dff)
  • Foote, Charlotte Welles — b. unknown d. Jun. 30, 1820
  • Foote, Ebenezer — b. Apr. 12, 1756 d. Dec. 28, 1829
  • Foote, Frederick Parsons — b. Mar. 15, 1783 d. Feb. 3, 1827
  • Foote, Harriet E. — b. unknown d. unknown
  • Foote, Jerusha Purdy — b. Dec. 15, 1755 d. Nov. 23, 1818
  • Foote, Justin — b. unknown d. Feb. 1, 1826
  • Foote, Maria de Hart Baldwin — b. unknown d. Aug. 29, 1824. (This stone is currently down, horizontal, and in damaged condition, 2014 and 2016. —dff)
  • Maxwell, Ebenezer F. — died Jun. 10, 1878
  • Maxwell, Rev Ebenezer K. — died Jul. 2, 1840
  • Maxwell, Frances H. Edgerton — died Nov. 5, 1860
  • Maxwell, Margaret F. Foote — b. Mar. 9, 1790 d. Apr. 16, 1845
  • Maxwell, Rose L. — died Apr. 20, 1888
  • Unknown, Infant — b. unknown d. unknown
The view from the big room. The Delaware River. Photo: msm

John D. Clarke Urges Loyalty to the Party. Addresses 150 women Leaders of 34th District

Picnic at Arbor Hill. Mrs. Whitney, Chairman New York State Educational League, the Guest Speaker

"There are too many Republicans who are not willing to stick to their party," congressman John D. Clarke told Republican women from the 34th Congressional District at a basket picnic on the lawn at "Arbor Hill," the country home of Congressman and Mrs. Clarke, at Fraser, Saturday. More than 150 were present.

Continuing Congressman Clarke stated: "The party stands for a government dedicated to equality. We must rededicate the principals of our party to service."

Mrs. Rosalie Lowe Whitney, New York, chairman of the State Republican Women's Educational League and guest speaker, stated "This year the women have a new reason for fighting for their party. It lies with the Republican women of this state to put the party back into power."

Mrs. Whitney warned against propaganda. "You've got to keep your fighting spirit up," she said. "If you're going to be a Republican, be a Republican, don't follow a will-o-the-wisp." ...

Following the addresses Congressman and Mrs. Clarke personally conducted a tour through their historic home, built in 1797 by Ebenezer Foote. It is believed that the house was used as a slave station, for there are evidences of a secret passage to the cellar which opens out into a tunnel leading to an old well. Major Foote was a great uncle of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

  • The Otsego Farmer/The Otsego Republican, Cooperstown, New York, 14 July 1933;1.

Arbor Hill, the Abram Ten Broeck Mansion

After the fire of 1793 destroyed his townhouse in the third ward of Albany, General Abraham Ten Broeck built the Georgian mansion also known as "Arbor Hill" on the hill—above the river and between North Albany's two major streambeds. It stands today as the home of the Albany County Historical Association.

The Ten Broeck Mansion is one of the historic attractions of the city of Albany. http://www.tenbroeckmansion.org/

Abraham Ten Broeck and his wife Elizabeth Van Rensselaer built a beautiful home, their mansion. The Ten Broeck’s named their mansion, built in 1798, “Prospect”. The mansion was located on the Hudson River and had a sweeping view of the river. In 1848, the mansion was purchased by Theodore Olcott, who renamed it, “Arbor Hill”. Exactly 100 years later, in 1948, the mansion was presented by the heirs of Robert Olcott to the Albany County Historical Association, and was renamed the “Ten Broeck Mansion”.