On November 28, 1776, the same year that 56 Americans signed the Declaration of Independence, well over 200 colonial New Yorkers placed their signatures on a "Declaration of Dependence." These signers were Loyalists, citizens who remained faithful to their sovereign, George III, King of Great Britain. Prominent among the signatures was that of Frederick Philipse III, Lord of the vast Manor of Philipsburg and resident of the elegant mansion known today as Philipse Manor Hall. Frederick Philipse III and his family lived in luxury, well supported by rents from the many tenant farms on his property. Times were changing, however, and while others rebelled against Great Britain, Frederick III defended the Crown. His Loyalist beliefs were so strong that General George Washington ordered him arrested in 1776. Philipse and his family later fled to British occupied New York City and then to England, where the last "Lord of the Manor", broken in spirit and health, died in 1786. His land and his mansion were confiscated by the New York State Legislature and sold at public auction.
In 1868, after passing through the hands of many owners, the house became Yonkers Village Hall and, in 1872, the first City Hall. By the 20th century, city growth threatened the Manor Hall's future until it was acquired by New York State in 1908 with the generous help of the Cochran Family of Yonkers. Today, Philipse Manor Hall serves as a museum of history, art and architecture, as well as host to community organizations, meetings, educational programs and special events. Highlights of the Hall include its 18th century, high style Georgian architecture, a 1750s papier mache Rococo ceiling, and an impressive collection of presidential portraits, including the six Presidents from New York State.A Community Gallery has been created at Philipse Manor Hall to display materials which support the Manor Hall's programs and services and relate to the local community. Exhibit policy and application forms are available at the administrative office. Both individuals and organizations are welcome to apply.
Don't miss these popular destinations and attractions within or near the historic site
- Beczak Environmental Education Center-exhibits and programs both indoors, outdoors and in the Hudson River!
- Community Gallery-located on the ground floor, this rotating exhibit of art from the community is free!
- Philipsburg Manor-another site of Frederick Philipse, this restored Dutch Colonial manor house and grounds features farm animals and a water-powered mill.
- Sunnyside-19th century romantic landscape estate of Washington Irving (author of Rip Van Winkle, among other others)
- John Jay Homestead State Historic Site-located 20 miles north of the Manor, home of Founding Father John Jay.
- Old Croton Aqueduct-located a few blocks from the Manor. A hiking, biking, and walking trail that snakes 26 miles from Croton to the Bronx Line.
- Rockefeller State Park Preserve-located 15 miles north, idealized carriage trails created by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Access to 55 miles of meandering trails with streams, pastures, ridges, a 22-acre lake and the Hudson River.