John Jay Homestead Historic Site | Kids Out and About Hudson Valley

John Jay Homestead Historic Site

400 Jay Street
Katonah , NY , 10536
Phone: (914) 232-5651
41° 15' 1.7928" N, 73° 39' 36.5868" W
Contact name: 
Wendy Ross
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Ages for which our activities are most appropriate: 
The Katonah home & farm of John Jay. 62 acres, including lovingly-tended formal gardens, magnificent woodland walks, rolling meadows, and a cluster of 19th century farm buildings. An 1820's schoolhouse and an 1830s barn are open for touring.

Don't miss these popular destinations and attractions within or near the historic site

  • Carriage Barn-now under restoration to become the site's Education and Visitor's Center
  • The Farm Road-part of the Bedford Riding Lanes Association trails for horse riders
  • The Formal Gardens-located through the white gate, a fountain and sundial form the centers, beautifully maintained by the Bedford Garden Club
  • The "Ha-ha's"-tall barriers built to keep grazing livestock from getting near the house, but invisible when looking down the lawn
  • The Herb Garden-created in 1991 on the site of an historic cutting garden and greenhouse.  Maintained by the Herb Society.
  • Ice Pond-created for producing ice in the winter to use year-round, now a picturesque spot.  The road down to the pond is part of the Tree Walk, lined with Red Maples
  • North Court Garden-on the north side of the main house, between the wings.  It beautifies the accessible entrance as well as displays a sampling of plants around the site.  Maintained by the Hopp Ground Garden Club
  • Picnic area-picnic benches are scattered throughout the picturesque site
  • Tree Walk-experience the leafy landscape created by John Jay. Highlights include:  Linden (Tilia americana), Red Maples (Acer rubrum) and European Beech (Faga sylvatica) trees, all historic and gorgeous.

In 1958 the house and thirty of the original acres were purchased from Eleanor Jay Iselin's heirs by Westchester County and transferred to the State of New York, which opened it to the public in 1964 as John Jay Homestead State Historic Site. The historic house is open most of the year, and can be seen by a guided tour through twelve beautifully furnished period rooms, restored to an 1820's appearance. Specialized tours and education programs are available by appointment.

His wife Sarah stayed in Ben Franklin's house in France until her & John's daughter was born.

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