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The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area is one of the forty-nine federally-recognized National Heritage Areas in the United States. The Hudson Valley NHA is considered a National Park Service affiliate. Through the partnership with the Park Service and other organizations, the Heritage Area includes over one hundred sites spread across ten counties in New York State.
I visited the DeWint House in Tappan, New York. This site is billed as Washington’s Headquarters in Tappan. George Washington stayed there on four separate occasions between 1780 and 1783.
I stopped first at the Visitor Center in the 1865 carriage house. A later owner of the DeWint house added this structure to the property after returning from the Civil War. There are many artifacts displayed from Washington’s time and there is an introductory video in which two charming children take visitors on a virtual tour.
The DeWint house was built in 1700, evidenced by the numbers set into the brick facade. During the Revolutionary War, it was owned by the DeWint family who had made their fortune in the West Indies. Over the years, the home passed to different owners until the Masons bought it and restored it as a Masonic Shrine in 1932.
George Washington stayed at the DeWint House four times during the Revolution. His most notable visit was the second, when he signed the death warrant of John Andre. Andre was the major who conspired with Benedict Arnold in the thwarted plans to hand West Point over to the British.
During a later stay, Washington negotiated the evacuation of British forces from New York City with British General Carleton.
After watching the video and looking at the displays in the carriage house, I went over to the stone and brick house. The house’s two first-floor rooms have been restored by the Masons and furnished to reflect the 1780s and Washington’s visit.
You can only peer into the rooms through a Plexiglas partition, so taking in the video and the museum displays first is necessary to appreciate the history of the site.
To see my other posts from The Hudson Valley National Heritage Area, please click the links below:
- DeWint House (Washington’s HQ at Tappan)
- Camp Shanks
- Storm King Arts Center– Coming Soon!
- New Windsor Cantonment– Coming Soon!
- Purple Heart Hall of Honor– Coming Soon!
Location: 20 Livingston Avenue, Tappan, NY
Designation: National Heritage Area, National Historic Landmark
Date designation declared: 1996 NHA, 1966 NHL
Date of my visit: 8/18/2018