At Van Cortlandt Manor, explore the stone manor house and brick ferry house, wander through the heritage gardens, and stroll down a quiet country road along the Croton River. There, visitors can experience the domestic life of a patriot family living in the years just after the American Revolution - the New Nation period. Costumed guides demonstrate and invite visitors to try their own hands at blacksmithing, brick making, open-hearth cooking, spinning, weaving, and other crafts and tasks of the period. These activities and a lively program of special events help bring the past to life.
The Van Cortlandts were one of New York's most prominent families, who faced and influenced pressing political issues of the time, including Federalist and Anti-Federalist debates over the drafting of the constitution. The family also grappled with religious change following the rise of evangelical religions and had to confront the controversy over emancipation, since they were slaveholders. These issues, along with everyday life and social activities of the period, are explored at Van Cortlandt Manor.