The historic house was built in 1789 and was home to 5 generations of hoarding Van Rensselaers. The collection if items collected by the family over time include over 3,000 photographs, 7,000 textiles, 20,000 objects, 30,000 manuscript among other things. It is a naturally accumulated time capsule of the family and the time periods in which they lived. In 1963, the last remaining member of the family died and the house became a museum.
The family members have interesting stories of their own. Besides the fact that they rarely threw anything out over 5 generations, two of the early family members living in the house were missionaries in China and brought back souvenirs that are still in the house and in 1827, there was also a murder in the house when the wife of John Whipple, conspired with Jesse Strang to murder her husband. After the deed, Strang was convicted but his wife was not charged.
The house holds mundane objects like toothbrushes but also very expensive, rare items too. There is also cross documentation of articles such as photos of the certain pieces of furniture throughout the years and diaries that mention some of the pieces. It is interesting to note that in the Colonial Revival style in the early 1900s, the house re-purposed some of the early furniture kept in the house from the colonial period.
Please donate to help save this historic house and collection. If you can not donate, please share the link with your friends to get the word out.