Johnson Hall State Historic Site has opened for the 2016 season, offering tours of the historic mansion on Wednesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. Tours begin on the hour, with the last tour of each day beginning at 4pm. Pre-registered groups and Site special events may alter this tour schedule.
Tours are $4.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors and students, and free for children 12 years and under. Group tours are available by advance reservation.
The Site begins its 2016 calendar of events on Saturday, June 4, with a lecture by Historic Site Manager Wade Wells on “The Price of Loyalty: The Confiscation of Johnson Hall”. The lecture begins at 11am in the historic mansion, and will be followed by light refreshment. In 1776 Johnson Hall would share the fate of confiscation with many properties owned by Americans who remained loyal to the Crown during the American Revolution. Wells will recount the events of Sir John’s flight to escape arrest, Lady Johnson’s detainment and the loss of Johnson Hall. Tours will begin at 1:00 pm on this day.
On Saturday, July 16 Senior Interpreter Michael Perazzini will offer a lecture on “The 55th Regiment of Foot”. The lecture begins at 11am in the historic mansion, and will be followed by light refreshment. Raised in 1755 in Sterling, Scotland, the 55th Regiment of Foot fought in America during the French and Indian War, and members of the regiment were garrisoned at Johnson Hall. The lecture will follow their exploits up to the beginning of the American War for Independence. Tours on this day will begin at 1pm.
On Saturday, August 20, tours of the mansion will begin at 1pm. On Sunday, August 21, a lecture will be given by Joscelyn Godwin and Christian Goodwillie on “Symbols in the Wilderness: Early Masonic Survivals in Upstate New York”.
The lecture begins at 1pm in the historic mansion, and will be followed by light refreshments. To mark August’s 250th anniversary of the first meeting held by St Patrick’s Masonic Lodge at Johnson Hall, the pair will discuss early New York Freemasonry and the surviving examples of masonic architecture and symbolic art work. An Open House, featuring an exhibit of the original jewels, minute book and charter of St Patrick’s Lodge, a book signing by the authors of their newly published book Symbols in the Wilderness: Early Masonic Survivals in Upstate New York, and light refreshments will follow the lecture.
Johnson Hall’s final day for tours for the 2016 season in Sunday, October 9.
The annual Holiday Open House will be held on Friday, December 2 from 6pm – 8:30pm, featuring holiday decorations, period music, horse-drawn wagon rides, light refreshments and holiday gift-shopping.
Johnson Hall was the 1763 Georgian estate of Sir William Johnson and Molly Brant and their family. Sir William (1715 – 1774) was the single largest landowner and most influential individual in the colonial Mohawk Valley. His success in dealing with the Six Nations had a lasting impact on their relationship with the English, and largely influenced England’s victory in the Anglo-French struggle for control of colonial North America. The main house and flanking stonehouses, originally surrounded by a 700 acre farm, now interpret the Johnson family through guided tours of the period room settings, educational programs and special events.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. For more information, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.