The natural surrounding provided the perfect backdrop to William Cullen Bryant's writer's retreat. Visitors can experience the life and times of this important American by touring his homestead. The oldest section of the house was constructed in 1787 by William Kirk, a Quaker farmer. Bryant greatly enlarged the original farmhouse, renovating it several times during his ownership. In addition, he planted numerous exotic trees and flowers on the grounds, transforming the estate into a horticultural showplace.