The vernacular stone house now known as Clinton House State Historic Site was built in 1765. The house was actively utilized from 1777 - 1783 when Poughkeepsie was the capital of New York State and several branches of state government convened in town. After a fire in 1783, General George Washington's New Windsor Cantonment ordered carpenters to rebuild this important structure. In addition to repairs, the house was enlarged and the present stairway was constructed at this time.
Clinton House State Historic Site has foundations which are two feet thick. The walls are constructed of rough fieldstone, while the gabled ends are made of wood. It is named in tribute to George Clinton, first governor of New York State, who resided in Poughkeepsie for twenty-one years. Today, with the support of the Dutchess County Historical Society, the site houses archives and a library for local historical research.