Philipsburg Manor Offers Glimpse into Colonial American Life

January 12, 2015 by wilsonneelynyc

Established by the Philips family in what is now Sleepy Hollow, New York, Philipsburg Manor grew into a center of commerce throughout the 18th century. Merchants by trade, the Anglo-Dutch family leased their land to European farmers from varying regions to develop a flourishing community of milling, trade, and agriculture. Guests of the historic Hudson Valley community can tour the original manor house, gaining insight into the time period through its numerous artifacts and historical reproductions. Visitors can also take part in a number of hands-on activities inspired by daily life at Philipsburg Manor, learning skills such as threshing wheat and spinning flax into linen.

While exploring the day-to-day operations of the colonial locale, guests receive an introduction to the history of the manor’s enslaved African community and northern colonial slavery as a whole. Historical reproductions, such as the slaves’ garden, which contains herbs and vegetables for both food and medicinal purposes, convey the ways in which the enslaved community so heavily supported Philipsburg Manor’s economic development.

Philipsburg Manor serves as a valuable educational experience for visitors of all ages, and offers multiple school programs for varying grade levels and historical themes. Wearing period-appropriate costumes, the manor’s professional guides lead students through hands-on activities and historic tours, focusing on topics such as the American Revolution, industrialization, and American romanticism.

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