I was only working a half day at the Martin Van Buren NHS today in neighboring Kinderhook, NY, so I thought that I would take a trip across the Hudson River to the west bank and historic Coxsackie, NY. Humorous place names and Archer references aside, this is a truly unique site, and well worth an afternoon jaunt. The Bronck Museum is a not-for-profit museum which encapsulates 3 generations of Swedish/Dutch-American building on one site. The oldest portion of the house on the site is the oldest structure in Upstate NY, and clocks in as being built in 1663. There is an addition from 1685, a further addition from the 1760s, and an external kitchen which was added in the 1790s. There are several other out-buildings as well, including a museum shop and shop annex, and a small museum/visitor center, and a barn from around 1870. If you are at all a student of 17th century history, in particular, you will find the oldest portions of the house a treat. Essentially, Pieter Bronck, a Swedish fur trapper, built this house about 17 miles south of Albany, in 1663, as a last-ditch effort to make money and support his Dutch wife and teenage son in the New World. He dies, but his wife and son continue the Dutch line and family name, and the house is continuously occupied by the Bronck family for 8 generations, until it is bequeathed to the Greene County, NY Historical Society in 1939 by the then-owner, a bachelor, with the understanding that it would be made into a museum with the family name attached. It has survived in such good condition because of the non-installation of modern conveniences like indoor plumbing or heat until 1939. The floorboards and roof beams in the 17th century part of the house are ALL original and in incredible shape. I was given a personal tour by the museum curator, who, although a bit awkward, was VERY knowledgable and took her time with me and my many questions. This is truly a treasure of Upstate NY and the Hudson River Valley. I highly recommend a visit. Just beware that it is closed Mondays and Tuesdays, as with many state and local historical sites in this state. Today was Columbus Day, so I got lucky. 5 Stars and PLEASE support your local historic sites! 6 bucks admission for adults... more than reasonable for an educational afternoon. :)
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