|Katonah, New York|
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is both a local gem and national treasure. It is one of only a handful of historic farms in the country once owned by a Founding Father, and open to the public. It is where John Jay, after a lifetime of public service, chose to retire in 1801 and live out his life in the company of his children and grandchildren. Jay’s many public roles included principal negotiator of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the United States, first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and second Governor of New York State.
Jay’s descendants continued to live in the house until the 1950s when the house and a portion of the original acreage were purchased by Westchester County thanks to the help of local citizens. It was later transferred to New York State and declared a State Historic Site in 1958. Since then, the historic house’s interiors have been restored in the style of John Jay’s lifetime. A visit to John Jay Homestead today is an opportunity to increase one’s knowledge and enthusiasm for history, to contemplate the principles upon which America was founded, and to learn about farm life in the 19th century. In addition, the Homestead’s 62-acre grounds include historic outbuildings, four formal gardens, open fields, a pond and wooded trails – supporting a wide range of outdoor activity.