The History of The Brinckerhoff Inn
We are conveniently located in Dutchess County, in New York's Hudson Valley, near Peekskill, Cold Spring, Beacon, Poughkeepsie, New Paltz, Hyde Park, Rhinebeck, Bear Mountain, and Western Connecticut.
Brinckerhoff Inn Bed and Breakfast
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This 10,000 square foot mansion, originating nearly 300 years ago, has remained mostly intact and in the same family for 297 years of its existence.
Dirck Brinckerhoff (1667-1748) came to the area in 1718 from Long Island and acquired a 2,000 acre tract of land that stretched from Fishkill Village to Sprout Creek from Madam Brett. The Brinckerhoff Inn is located in the original home that was built on this property. Originally a two room stone structure with a chimney built by Abraham Brinckerhoff, eldest son of Dirck, it was used as both a home and a trading post. Abraham's brother John Brinckerhoff also built a home nearby (the John Brinckerhoff House, built in 1738 on Lomala Road in Hopewell Junction, currently a private residence).
Abraham's eldest son Derick later constructed his mansion around the original two-room structure built by his father. Derick Brinckerhoff was the Colonel of the Second Regiment of Dutchess County Militia and an eight-term member of the State Assembly. His involvement during the Revolutionary War led to many influential guests at the home.
One third of the battles during the Revolutionary War were fought in New York State. The Hudson Valley played a crucial role in the fight for independence. General George Washington spent a lot of time in New York, with headquarters in nearby towns Newburgh and Pawling, as he realized the importance of controlling the Hudson River. He visited both the Derick Brinckerhoff house, as well as the John Brinckerhoff house, on his travels through New York State. George Washington is known to have slept at the Derick Brinckerhoff house (currently the Brinckerhoff Inn Bed and Breakfast) on multiple occasions. The home became known as a "famous stopping place for travelers on the road between the Eastern and Middle States" , and thousands of troops traveling between New York and New England and the South passed by the home. General Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Baron von Steuben watched from the house as thousands of British and German prisoners were marched from Boston to Virginia in November 1778. General Washington had breakfast at the house on the morning he discovered Benedict Arnold's betrayal.
Major General the Marquis de Lafayette, a close friend of George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Thomas Jefferson, fought in the American Revolution. For a few weeks in the fall of 1778, while seriously ill, he stayed in a second floor bedroom of the Brinckerhoff home and was nursed back to health. When he returned to France, he sent a desk to the Brinckerhoff family as a gift of gratitude. The desk was later donated for display in the Van Wyck Homestead in Fishkill. On Memorial Day in 1898, a memorial was dedicated to Major General the Marquis de Lafayette, a gift from the Lafayette Post of the Grand Army of the Republic to the Melzingah Chapter of the DAR. This monument can be seen along Route 52, in front of the cemetery, just west of the entrance to the Brinckerhoff Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Other notable guests include General Alexander McDougall, who used the home as his headquarters for a time during the Revolution, Governor George Clinton, and Generals Putnam, Knox, Arnold, Greene, and Gates.
The exterior of house was updated by Matthew Brinckerhoff in the late 1800s. He covered the stone exterior with wooden siding, replaced the old fireplace mantels with marble ones, and added a Mansard roof to make room for five bedrooms on the third floor.
The home continued to be passed down through generations of the Brinckerhoff family, until it was sold in 2014. The interior has been renovated to facilitate its opening as a bed and breakfast, though the current purveyors realize the historical value of the home and have made an effort to keep most of it intact. You will notice the original wood floors, plaster walls, doors and Crown molding, and stairs. As you explore this beautiful home, you will see many pieces of art, photographs, and historical documents that belonged to the Brinckerhoff family. Great efforts have been taken to furnish the home to reflect 18th century living.
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