Rockland County has a history that goes back centuries, to the Native Americans who first settled here, followed by Dutch and British settlers. Today, visitors are welcomed at historic estates, battlefields, museums, and other sites that bring the past to life – with costumed interpretation, live demonstrations, interactive displays, and more.
Here are five places where visitors can experience history in this lower Hudson Valley destination.
Dewint House and Museum, Tappan, NY
The Dewint House is the oldest surviving structure in Rockland County, and served as the temporary headquarters of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. The Carriage House building is used as a museum and visitor center, with interpretive displays and exhibits.
Dutch Gardens, New City, NY
Constructed between 1934-36, the gardens are a memorial to the area’s early Dutch settlers. Located on the property is a brick teahouse with a gazebo, fireplace and bandstand. Brick making played a vital role in the area’s economy in the 1800s, so remains were kept as a reminder of its importance. The park is open to the public for walking, picnicking and sitting.
Edward Hopper House, Nyack, NY
Built by his maternal grandfather, the birthplace of Edward Hopper now celebrates the artist’s candid representation of life in America. The residence was saved from demolition, and has been transformed into an arts center with exhibits, sculpture garden, workshops, and special events like Jazz in the Garden.
Stony Point Battlefield, Stony Point, NY
Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Park is the scenic site of one of the last battles of the Revolutionary War in 1779. The site features a museum, which offers exhibits on the battle and the 1826 Stony Point Lighthouse, as well as interpretive programs, such as reenactments highlighting 18th century military life, cannon and musket firings, cooking demonstrations, and children’s activities and blacksmith demonstrations.
The ‘76 House, Tappan, NY
The 76 House, the oldest tavern in New York State, still functions today as a restaurant serving award-winning American cuisine. During the Revolutionary War, it was a meeting place for General George Washington and other military leaders, as well as a jail for British spy Major John Andre.
Other historic sites in Rockland County include the Jacob Blauvelt Farmhouse, the Salyer House, and the DePew House, which all portray how early Americans lived around the time of the Revolutionary War. Smaller museums highlight the impact of the industrial age, such as the Haverstraw Brick Museum and the Suffern Railroad Museum.