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Historic Cherry Hill Mansion

Touring Historic Cherry Hill is an exploration of the story of Catherine Bogart Putman Rankin (1857-1948), the great-granddaughter of Philip and Maria Van Rensselaer, and fourth-generation owner of Cherry Hill.She was the most responsible for the preservation of this Albany landmark and its contents through her deep and abiding love for her 200 year old ancestral home, an affection that she passed on to her children.

You will be swept up in Catherine's absorbing chronicle: Her arrival at Cherry Hill as a three-year-old after her mother's death; a young adulthood ending in the threat of losing Cherry Hill because of financial troubles; her loving and serendipitous marriage to Edward W. Rankin; her loneliness as a young bride awaiting her husband's return from distant trips. Through her words, and those of family and friends, you will learn of her joys in raising three children, and her grieving heart for the promising son buried at sea during World War I.

Each room, each object, evokes a poignant story as you tour the Rankin home. You will view the formal parlor where Catherine entertained Albany groups--many of her most treasured family pieces were displayed here. Family personalities will emerge as a family relative recalls her early childhood visits to the Rankin home-- Edward's wry sense of humor; Catherine's colorful commentary as she supervised from the head of the table the meal prepared by household servant Lottie; Emily's gentle nature, and Edward Elmendorf's dapper way in dress and demeanor. Scratch marks just outside the dining room entrance are evidence of the frustration that "Sandy," the family's Airedale, must have felt in not being allowed into the dining room to beg for scraps.

While it is true that many of the styles of furnishings and decorations at Cherry Hill can be found in other historic house museums, it is the intact nature of the site's collections that make them unique, and the family stories of everyday life that are so special. The family kept detailed records -- today their 30,000 manuscripts include personal and business correspondence, bills and receipts, legal documents, inventories, maps, school records, diaries, recipes, and a good deal more.

Because these records and the rest of the collections were kept in the family through the generations, Cherry Hill is one of the few house museums that has survived to the present with so much -- the manuscripts and 20,000 objects including 7,500 textiles, 1,500 pieces of ceramics, 750 pieces of furniture, 3,000 examples of silver and decorative arts, 600 paintings and other fine art, 2,500 household implements, 5,000 books, and 3,000 photographs -- all associated with one family.

Visiting Historic Cherry Hill

April-June and October-December: Tuesday-Friday, tours at 12, 1, 2 & 3; Saturday at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, & 3; Sunday at 1, 2, & 3.
July-September: Tuesday-Saturday, tours at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2 & 3; Sunday at 1, 2, & 3.
Closed January through March, Mondays and major holidays

$4 for adults, $3 for senior citizens, $2 for college students, and $1 for children 6-17.

Specifics on visiting the Empire State Plaza were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
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