Honokōhau Settlement and Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located in the Kona District on the Big island of Hawaiʻi in the U. S. state of Hawaiʻi. It includes the National Historic Landmarked archaeological site known as the Honokōhau Settlement; the park was established on November 10, 1978, for the preservation and interpretation of traditional native Hawaiian activities and culture. Kaloko and Honokōhau are the names of two of the four different ahupuaʻa, or traditional mountain-to-sea land divisions encompassed by the park. Although in ancient times this arid area of lava rock was called kekaha ʻaʻole wai, the abundant sea life attracted settlement for hundreds of years. Kaloko is a site of fishponds used in ancient Hawaii; the first reference to the pond comes from the story of Kamalalawalu, about 300 years ago. The kuapā is over 6 feet high, stretching for 750 feet. Constructed by hand without mortar, the angle and gaps between the stones deflected the surf better than many modern concrete seawalls.ʻAimakapā fishpond is an important wetland area protecting native birds including the koloa maoli, ʻalae keʻokeʻo, āeʻo, auʻkuʻu, among others.
The area is under reforestation, after the removal of non-native invasive plants. It was added to the Register of Historic Places in 1978 as site 78003148. Honokōhau means "bay drawing dew" and refers to the ancient settlement on the south part of the park; this area can be reached via trails from the park visitor's center, or from the small boat harbor access road on Kealakehe Parkway. Features include kahua, kiʻi pōhaku, hōlua and heiau; the ʻAiʻopio Fishtrap is a 1.7-acre pond, with a stone wall forming an artificial enclosure along the curved shoreline of a bay. Small openings allowed young fish to enter from the sea, but as they grew larger they were caught with nets inside the trap as needed, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966 as site 66000287. Several restored trails include about one mile of the Māmalahoa Trail, it was built in the mid-19th century, evolved over the years into the Hawaii Belt Road which encircles the entire island. The coastal trail is part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.
The Honokōhau boat harbor provides a launching area for traditional canoes, fishing boats, Scuba diving and snorkeling tours of the area. U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park
First State National Historical Park
First State National Historical Park is a National Park Service unit which lies in the state of Delaware but which extends into Pennsylvania in Chadds Ford. Created as First State National Monument by President Barack Obama under the Antiquities Act on March 25, 2013, the park was redesignated as First State National Historical Park by Congress; the park covers the early colonial history of Delaware and the role Delaware played in the establishment of the nation, leading up to it being the first state to ratify the Constitution. It tells the unique story of the early settlement of the Delaware Valley by the Dutch, Swedes and English and their relationship with Native Americans, it seeks to preserve the cultural landscape of the Brandywine River Valley. Russ Smith, the park's first superintendent, described its mission in part as, "I think it's... the recognition that it's not all about Jamestown and Plymouth Rock. There were 13 different traditions established in the 1600s that came together in 1776.
The designation helps shine a light on that story. The way this place differs from other places is the diversity of the settlement. You had Dutch, Finns the English, the Germans; the Netherlands were sort of the melting pot of Europe, you had the Germans there, the French, the Belgians, all these people were here in the Delaware Valley in the 1600s, so you had that diversity, you had a tradition of tolerance. As I tell people, while Virginia was jailing Baptists and New England was burning Quakers, there was freedom of religion on the Delaware River before William Penn arrived. There's this misconception that the English were the only ones who had any kind of representative government, so that's where we got it. Well, the Netherlands were a Republic; the Swedes were not an absolute monarchy, so there was a tradition of self-determination as well." The sites contained within the park are: The New Castle Court House, which dates back to 1730, is one of the oldest courthouses in the country and played a role in a number of historic events that shaped the nation.
The cupola of the Court House is the center of a 12 mile circle that forms the border between Delaware and Maryland. The building was used as the meeting place for Delaware's colonial assembly, was where the assembly voted in favor of independence from both Pennsylvania and England in 1776; the Declaration of Independence was read from the Court House's second floor balcony, Delaware's first Constitution was drafted and adopted here. U. S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase was impeached over his actions in the Court House during a trial in 1800. In 1848, U. S. Chief Justice Roger Taney presided over a series of trials in the Court House when prominent Quaker abolitionists and Underground Railroad conductors Thomas Garrett and John Hunn were accused of violating the Fugitive Slave Act; the Garrett trial was an inspiration to Harriet Beecher Stowe for certain scenes in Uncle Tom's Cabin. The New Castle Green was first laid out as a town common in the 1650s by the Dutch colonists who founded New Castle.
It is located a block away from the spot where William Penn first arrived in America in 1682, is bounded by several historic structures, including the Court House, the 1809 federal Arsenal, the 1703 Immanuel Episcopal Church on the Green where founder George Read is buried. The Sheriff's House, built in 1857, abuts the Court House and will serve as First State National Historical Park's headquarters and Visitor's Center; the Court House and the Green are owned by the state of Delaware, with the National Park Service owning a conservation easement on them. The Sheriff's House is owned by the National Park Service; the Dover Green was first laid out as a public space in 1717 by William Penn's surveyors, has been host to several historic events. The Declaration of Independence was read to the citizens of Dover from the Green in 1776, it was the site of the mustering of a Continental Army regiment during the Revolution; when the proximity of the British navy threatened New Castle, the state changed its capital city to Dover in 1777, a State House was built just off the Green in 1787.
At a tavern which once stood on the Green, a convention ratified the Constitution on December 7, 1787, making Delaware the first state. The Green is owned by the city of Dover, with the National Park Service owning a conservation easement, it is 40 miles south of the park headquarters in New Castle. Beaver Valley consists of land purchased in the early 1900s by Quaker industrialist and conservationist William Poole Bancroft, whose goal it was to preserve as much land as possible along the Brandywine River to ensure its scenic rural beauty remained for future generations as the cities of Wilmington and Philadelphia continued to expand. Much of the land has remained unchanged since it was set aside for preservation, it includes forests and rolling farmsteads that were once settled by the Quakers who followed Penn to America; the tract is adjacent to Delaware's Brandywine Creek State Park, the Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway runs through it. Beaver Valley is owned by the National Park Service.
It is 12 miles north of the park headquarters in New Castle. Beaver Valley is the largest component of First State National Historical Park, comprising 1,100 acres, it is open for recreational activities such as hiking, horseback riding and kayaking. Located in Wilmington, Fort Christina is an enclosed park that preserves the original landing site, known as "The Rocks," of the colonists who established New Sweden in 1638, t
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park in Dayton, United States that commemorates three important historical figures—Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar—and their work in the Miami Valley. The idea for the present-day Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park was first conceived by Jerry Sharkey. Much of the Dayton neighborhood where Orville and Wilbur Wright had lived and worked had been destroyed by the 1970s. Neglect, riots during the 1960s, a highway project through the city had leveled much of the neighborhood. Decades earlier, Henry Ford had relocated one of the Wrights' bicycle shops from Dayton to its present location in Greenfield Village, for display. Sharkey's quest to preserve the Wright brothers' legacy began when he purchased their last surviving bicycle shop in Dayton for just $10,000, which saved the building from demolition, he founded the Aviation Trail Inc. a nonprofit group dedicated to the creation of a potential national park or historic district encompassing the Wright brothers' buildings.
Sharkey enlisted the help of local political and media figures to lobby for the creation of the park. Notable figures who supported its creation included the descendants of the Wright brothers, aviation historian Tom Crouch, U. S. District Judge Walter H. Rice, then-U. S. Rep. Dave Hobson, Dayton Daily News publisher Brad Tillson, Michael Gessel, an aide to former U. S. Rep. Tony P. Hall; the group lobbied federal officials and the National Park Service to incorporate the landmarks related to the Wright brothers, which are scattered throughout the city, into a new historic trail. The U. S. Congress passed legislation to establish the new park. In 1992, President George H. W. Bush signed the bill which created the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park into law. In addition to the Wright brothers' sites, the new park preserved the home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, an acclaimed African-American poet and friend of the Wright brothers. Jerry Sharkey donated the Wright brothers' bicycle shop, which he had saved from demolition, to the National Park Service as part of the agreement to create the park.
A new visitor center was constructed in 2003 in time for the centennial of the Wright brothers' first flight. Jerry Sharkey, who had first conceived of the future historic park, died in April 2014. Through the invention of powered flight and Orville Wright made significant contributions to human history. In their Dayton, bicycle shops, the Wright brothers, who self-trained in the science and art of aviation and built the world's first power-driven, heavier-than-air machine capable of free and sustained flight; the Wrights perfected their invention during 1904 and 1905 at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field near their hometown of Dayton. Paul Laurence Dunbar achieved national and international acclaim in a literary world, exclusively reserved for whites, producing a body of work that included novels, short stories and over 400 published poems, his work, which reflected much of the African American experience in the United States, contributed to a growing social consciousness and cultural identity for African Americans.
Although he died in 1906, his writings contributed to developments in African American history, such as the Harlem Renaissance and the early Civil Rights Movement. He was a neighbor and lifelong friend of Orville Wright; the park is a cooperative effort between several partners. The sites are: The Wright Cycle Company Complex in Dayton, which includes the Wright Cycle Company building, the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and the Aviation Trail Visitor Center and Museum Huffman Prairie Flying Field and the Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center, both located within Wright-Patterson Air Force Base just northeast of Dayton in Fairborn, but operated by the National Park Service and open to the public; the Wright Brothers Aviation Center at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, operated by Dayton History The Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial in Dayton, operated by Dayton History on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society Hawthorn Hill, the 1914-1948 residence of Orville Wright, located just south of Dayton in Oakwood, Ohio.
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is located within the National Aviation Heritage Area, an eight-county region in Ohio established as a National Heritage Area by Congress in 2004. The U. S. Department of the Interior listed three units of the park on the 2008 U. S. World Heritage Tentative List as part of the Dayton Aviation Sites listing; the park is a central component of the National Aviation Heritage Area. Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina Official NPS Site 2008 U. S. World Heritage Tentative List Report, with section on the Dayton Aviation Sites Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park: Where the Wright Brothers Conquered the Air, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan Aviation: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms, a National Park Service Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary Carillon Park - home of the 1905 Wright Flyer III Ohio Historical Society site for the Paul Laurence Dunbar State Memorial
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve protects significant examples of the rich natural and cultural resources of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta region. The park, named after the pirate Jean Lafitte interprets the influence of environment and history on the development of the unique Cajun regional culture; the park consists of a park headquarters. Three sites interpret the Cajun culture of the Lafayette area, which developed after Acadians were resettled in the region following their expulsion from Canada by the British and the transfer of French Louisiana to Spain in the aftermath of the French and Indian War. Acadian Cultural Center, in Lafayette Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, in Eunice, obtained through the work of Mayor Curtis Joubert. Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center, in Thibodaux The Barataria Preserve, at 6588 Barataria Boulevard in Marrero, Jefferson Parish interprets the natural and cultural history of the region; the preserve has trails and canoe tours through bottomland hardwood forests and marsh.
Additionally, an Education Center provides curriculum-based programming for school groups and a visitor center with a film and exhibits. Former Louisiana State Senator Elwyn Nicholson, a West Bank grocer of Marrero, was known for his advocacy of the creation of the historical park and the Barataria Preserve; the 1,855 acres Barataria area, comprising 63 contributing properties, was added as a historic district to National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. Listing was updated on May 11, 1989. Chalmette, six miles southeast of New Orleans, is the site of the Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery, it was the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. Established after the American Civil War, this national cemetery holds the remains of American Civil War casualties and veterans, as well as the remains of soldiers from the Indian Wars of the late 19th century, the Spanish–American War, the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, the Vietnam War. There are few graves from the Battle of New Orleans.
A visitor center is located near the battleground monument. This is one stop on the tour route of the battlefield, which can be taken by car or bicycle, or on foot. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the visitor center in 2005. Visitors to this unit of the historical park can reach it by boat along the Mississippi River, using private craft or a public tour boat that departs from downtown New Orleans. In 2008 the park provided the War of 1812 backdrop depicted in the Mystery Mardi Gras Shipwreck documentary; the park operates a French Quarter Visitor Center at 419 Decatur Street, in the historic French Quarter. It interprets more the history of New Orleans and the diverse cultures of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta region; the headquarters of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve are located in New Orleans. Chalmette Monument and Grounds were established on March 4, 1907, to commemorate the site of the Battle of New Orleans, it was transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933, re-designated as Chalmette National Historical Park on August 10, 1939.
The Chalmette site and the Barataria Preserve were both listed on the National Register of Historic Places October 15, 1966. The Chalmette site was incorporated into the multi-site Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, authorized on November 10, 1978. National Register of Historic Places listings in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park The National Parks: Index 2001-2003. Washington: U. S. Department of the Interior. National Park Service: Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Acadian Cultural Center Prairie Acadian Cultural Center Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center Barataria Preserve Chalmette Battlefield and National Cemetery French Quarter Visitor Center
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, located in Vincennes, Indiana, on the banks of the Wabash River at what is believed to be the site of Fort Sackville, is a United States National Historical Park. President Calvin Coolidge authorized a classical memorial and President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the completed structure in 1936. On February 25, 1779, Lieutenant Colonel George Rogers Clark, older brother of William Clark, led the capture of Fort Sackville and British Lt. Governor Henry Hamilton as part of the celebrated Illinois Campaign, which lasted from 1778 to 1779; the heroic march of Clark's men from Kaskaskia on the Mississippi River in mid-winter and the subsequent victory over the British remains one of the most memorable feats of the American Revolution. In 1966, Indiana transferred the site to the National Park Service. Adjacent to the memorial is a visitor center which presents interpretive displays; the center is situated on South 2nd Street in Vincennes. The site is located in the Vincennes Historic District.
The memorial is placed at the believed site of Fort Sackville. The episode being commemorated marked the finest moment in General George Rogers Clark's life, he was sent by the state of Virginia to protect its interest in the Old Northwest. His 1778-1779 campaign included the founding of Louisville and the capture of British forts in the lower Ohio and Mississippi valleys. Forces under Clark's command had captured Fort Sackville months before, but when notified that British forces under Henry Hamilton had retaken the fort, Clark led a desperate march to retake the fort again for the American cause, succeeding on February 25, 1779; this led to the newly formed United States claiming control of what would become the states of Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin in the 1783 Treaty of Paris. As Vincennes grew in the 1800s, it overran the site of its boundaries were lost. In 1905, the Daughters of the American Revolution placed a stone marker on what they believed was the location of the fort. In 1929, local residents made a major effort to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Clark's campaign.
The state of Indiana chose to build a memorial to General Clark's triumph in the 1930s, with the assistance of the United States government. The memorial was designed by New York architect Frederic Charles Hirons and dedicated June 14, 1936, by President Franklin Roosevelt. Though the National Park Service in 1976 called the finished memorial the "last major Classical style memorial" constructed in the United States, the New York State Memorial to Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History by John Russell Pope was completed in 1936, Pope's Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D. C. was completed 1939-1943. The memorial building is a circular granite structure surrounded by sixteen granite fluted Greek Doric columns in a peripteral colonnade, capped with a saucer dome of glass panels and resting on a stylobate; the north and east corners have various maintenance rooms. Except for the maintenance rooms, these feature plastered walls and ceilings, marble wainscoting, terrazzo flooring.
Visitors enter the memorial by climbing thirty granite steps in the northwest corner. The basement is unfinished, with fluorescent lighting revealing a ceiling and walls of exposed concrete, a dirt floor. Other prominent features in the park include John Angel's granite statue of Francis Vigo, a 4-by-9-foot monument overlooking the Wabash River erected in 1934 that honors the Italian-American merchant who assisted General Clark; the adjacent grounds of the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier hold a 1934 bronze statue by Albin Polasek honoring Father Pierre Gibault, another figure in the Revolutionary War. Raoul Josset designed the Lincoln Memorial Bridge across the Wabash River to compliment the memorial aesthetically, it includes relief carvings designed by a monument by Nellie Walker on the Illinois side of the bridge and celebrates the migration of Abraham Lincoln. A concrete floodwall that protects the memorial and Vincennes from Wabash flooding is designed in a complimentary Classical style.
The grounds hold a memorial to the soldiers from Knox County who served in World War I, a marker denoting where Clark's headquarters stood during his siege of Fort Sackville, the original Daughters of the American Revolution memorial, which has moved several times due to construction of the main memorial. Muralist Ezra Winter executed a series of seven murals for the building; the park was authorized by the Act of July 23, 1966. This law contains three provisions; the first authorized the Secretary of the Interior to accept from the State of Indiana, the donation of the Clark Memorial and surrounding grounds for a national park. This was accomplished within one year of the law's enactment; the second provision permits the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with the owners of other historic properties in Vincennes which are associated with George Rogers Clark and the Northwest Territory. Such properties would become part of the park, the Secretary could assist in their preservation and interpretation.
The third provision requires the Secretary to administer, protect and maintain the park in accordance with the provisions of the act of August 25, 1916, which established the National Park Service. George Rogers Clark NHP was established to commemorate the accomplishments of George Rogers Clark and the expansion of the United States into the Northwest Territory.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers in and around Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The park includes land in the Shenandoah Valley in West Virginia; the park is managed by the National Park Service, an agency of the U. S. Department of the Interior. Designated Harpers Ferry National Monument in 1944, the park was declared a National Historical Park by the U. S. Congress in 1963; the park includes the historic town of Harpers Ferry, notable as a center of 19th-century industry and as the scene of John Brown's failed abolitionist uprising. Consisting of 4,000 acres, it includes the site of which Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature" after visiting the area in 1783. Due to a mixture of historical events and ample recreational opportunities, all within 50 miles of Washington, D. C. the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.
The Park's Superintendent is presently Tyrone Brandyburg. The park was planned as a memorial to John Brown, responsible for what is by far the most famous incident in Harpers Ferry's history. "NPS officials in the 1930s focused on John Brown's Raid and the Civil War to justify acquiring parts of Harpers Ferry for a historical and military park." Like the figure of John Brown himself, this proved enormously controversial, with opposition from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Today there is no mention of John Brown on the Park's home page, although the raid is covered in the history section of the website. Native American history in the region dates back to at least 8,000 years ago; the Tuscarora people were the last of the native peoples known to inhabit the area in large numbers vanishing in the early 18th century. One of these European immigrants, Robert Harper, obtained a patent for the land from the Virginia legislature in 1751. Note that prior to 1863, West Virginia was still a part of Virginia.
The town was known as Shenandoah Falls at Mr. Harper's Ferry due to the ferry business Robert Harper managed and operated. Today, the original house built by Robert Harper is the oldest remaining structure in the lower part of the park. George Washington visited the area during his trip to the rivers' confluence in 1785, searching for a waterway to ship goods westward. Washington began the construction of the federal Harpers Ferry Armory on the site, utilizing waterpower from the rivers for manufacturing purposes. Meriwether Lewis, under government contract, procured most of the weaponry and associated hardware that would be needed for the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the armory in Harpers Ferry. Blacksmiths built a collapsible iron boat frame for the expedition. Between the years 1820 to 1840, John H. Hall worked to perfect the manufacturing of interchangeable parts at the armory. Utilizing precision molds and jigs, this was one of the birthplaces of precision manufacturing so that armaments and related mechanical equipment could be standardized and parts would be interchangeable.
Subsequently, the development of the modern bullet to replace the round lead slug was achieved by James H. Burton and this improvement was adopted by the U. S. Army in 1855. Employing at times up to 400 workers, the armory produced over half a million muskets and rifles between 1801 and 1860. Abolitionist John Brown led an armed group in the capture of the armory in 1859. Brown had hoped he would be able to arm the slaves and lead them against U. S. forces in a rebellion to overthrow slavery. After his capture in the armory by a group of Marines, Brown was hanged, predicting in his last words that civil war was looming on the horizon, a prediction that came true less than two years later; the most important building remaining from John Brown's raid is the firehouse, now called John Brown's Fort, where he resisted the Marines. The American Civil War found Harpers Ferry right on the boundary between the Union and Confederate forces; the strategic position along this border and the valuable manufacturing base was a coveted strategic goal for both sides, but the South due to its lack of manufacturing centers.
The town exchanged hands no less than eight times during the course of the war. Union forces abandoned the town after the state of Virginia seceded from the Union, burning the armory and seizing 15,000 rifles. Colonel Thomas J. Jackson, who would become known as "Stonewall", secured the region for the Confederates a week and shipped most of the manufacturing implements south. Jackson spent the next two months preparing his troops and building fortifications, but was ordered to withdraw south and east to assist P. G. T. Beauregard at the First Battle of Bull Run. Union troops began to rebuild parts of the armory. Stonewall Jackson, now a major general, returned in September 1862 under orders from Robert E. Lee to retake the arsenal and to join Lee's army north in Maryland. Jackson's assault on the Federal forces there, during the Battle of Harpers Ferry led to the capitulation of 12,500 Union troops, the largest number of Union prisoners taken at one time during the war; the town exchanged hands several more times over the next two years.
Storer College was built in Harpers Ferry as one of the first integrated schools in the U. S. Frederick Douglass served as a trustee of the college, delivered a memorable oration on the subject of John Brown there in 1881. Subsequent rulings known as Jim Crow Laws led
Grey Towers National Historic Site
Grey Towers National Historic Site known as Gifford Pinchot House or The Pinchot Institute, is located just off US 6 west of Milford, Pennsylvania, in Dingman Township. It is the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, first director of the United States Forest Service and twice elected governor of Pennsylvania; the house, built in the style of a French château to reflect the Pinchot family's French origins, was designed by Richard Morris Hunt with some work by Henry Edwards-Ficken. Situated on the hills above Milford, it overlooks the Delaware River. Pinchot grew up there and returned during the summers when his life took him to Washington and Harrisburg, his wife Cornelia made substantial changes to the interior of the home and gardens, in collaboration with several different architects, during that time. In 1963 his family donated the surrounding 102 acres to the Forest Service. S. National Historic Site managed by that agency. Three years the Department of the Interior designated it a National Historic Landmark.
Today it is open to the public for tours and hiking on its trails. The mansion itself is a three-story L-shaped fieldstone chateau. Conical roofed towers at three of the corners give the property its name. A service wing juts out from the fourth corner; as built it contained 43 rooms, with the first floor featuring a large entrance hall, billiard room, dining room and sitting room. Bedrooms were located on the second floor, with more on the third floor plus storage spaces and children's playrooms; the house boasts a number of outbuildings. On the 303 acres of the combined parcels that made up the original estate, there are 48 total buildings and sites, all but eight of which are considered contributing to its historic value; these include nearby cottages known as the Letter and Bait Boxes, a unique outdoor dining facility called the Finger Bowl, a Forester's Cottage used as a residence by the Pinchot descendants, an open-air theatre, the former Yale School of Forestry's summer school, a white pine plantation established by Gifford Pinchot.
There are four distinct periods in the history of Grey Towers: its initial construction under James Pinchot and his ownership and Cornelia Pinchot's years, the early years with the Forest Service, a more recent period of historic preservation efforts. In 1875, Gifford's father, James W. Pinchot, retired after a successful career in the wallpaper business and moved his family from New York City back to Milford, where he had grown up, he bought 3,000 acres of land overlooking the Delaware in Dingman Township, just outside the borough. Attractive to him and his family was a small waterfall on Sawkill Creek. There, James Pinchot's primary endeavor was planning and designing Grey Towers and the land around it. At first, he developed the land along lines of the ornamental farm advocated by Andrew Jackson Downing; the original drive up the hill was meant to show off his orchards. In 1884, he retained Hunt, a family friend, to put these ideas for a French-style chateau, modeled after the Marquis de Lafayette's LaGrange and reflecting the Pinchot family's origin in France, on paper for eventual construction.
Two years it was complete, but not before Pinchot altered the plans to save money. While Hunt was away in Europe, he had Edwards-Ficken alter Hunt's design when bedrock on the site made it difficult to build the raised foundation Hunt had planned. Edwards-Ficken added some of his own decorative touches to the house, such as the front door, interior paneling and wrought iron porches on the south and east facades. All the materials came from local sources. Hemlock timbers were floated down the Delaware on rafts from Lackawaxen, another river town, provided the bluestone and windows. Roofing slate came in Lafayette, New Jersey. All the workers and contractors hired were Milford residents; the total cost was $24,000 for furnishings. In 1906, a design by Frederick Law Olmsted was implemented for an old cemetery on the property. Today it is in poor condition. James Pinchot had come to regret the environmental damage forest-product industries such as his had done, he endowed the Yale School of Forestry, the first graduate forestry program in the country.
From 1901 to 1926, the Grey Towers estate grounds served as the school's primary summer preparatory fieldwork location. Only ruins of the educational buildings exist today. James Pinchot died in 1908, his wife, died three days after Gifford married Cornelia Bryce in August 1914, he and his brother Amos split the estate, with Amos taking the half on which a small forester's cabin was the main dwelling and Gifford taking the house. The couple began spending their summers at Grey Towers, she realized that his developing political career, hers, required a residence more suited to entertaining guests than it had been intended to be, set about modernizing the house. At her behest, many alterations were made to the original first-floor plan; the most significant involved merging the dining and breakfast rooms to create a large sitting room, enlarging the library by adding the living room to it. "The first thing my wife did", Pinchot told the Saturday Evening Post in 1922, "was to break down the partition walls and let in light and air...
F course, it's a vast improvement."An avid gardener, she turned her attention to the ground