Canajoharie in Montgomery County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Van Alstyne Homestead
16 of 31 Meetings of Tryon County
Safety Committee Held Here 1774-75
General Nicholas Herkimer Received
Commission As Brig. Gen Here 1775
Erected 1940 by New York State Education Department.
Location. 42° 54.269′ N, 74° 34.27′ W. Marker is in Canajoharie, New York, in Montgomery County. Marker is on Moyer Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. The marker is not roadside, but rather mounted right in front of the Van Alstyne building. Marker is in this post office area: Canajoharie NY 13317, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Canajoharie Academy (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Wagner Home (approx. 0.4 miles away); Fort Plain (approx. 3.9 miles away); a different marker also named Fort Plain (approx. 3.9 miles away); Clinton March (approx. 3.9 miles away); Revolution in the Mohawk Valley (approx. 3.9 miles away); Sand Hill School (approx. 4 miles away); Sand Hill (approx. 4.1 miles away).
Regarding Van Alstyne Homestead. The Van Alstyne Homestead at 4 Moyer Street is the oldest building in
Goshen Van Alstyne built the original smaller section of this house around 1738. It was demolished in the late 19th century when the building was being refurbished. The much larger gambrel roof section was constructed in the 1760ís with a southernmost addition being added in the 1770ís. There is no evidence that the house was ever palisaded during either the French & Indian or Revolutionary Wars.
Philip Van Alstyne owned the house during the American Revolution. At this time the house functioned as a tavern and became a frequent meeting place for the Tryon County Committee of Safety. General Nicholas Herkimer received his commission here to command the Tryon County Militia in 1775. Later Colonel Clyde, who commanded at Fort Plain/Fort Rensselaer, is known to have moved his family there after the Cherry Valley Massacre. This may have contributed to the building erroneously being called Fort Rensselaer in some historical texts.
Owned by the Van Alstyne Society, it plays host to the Rensselaer Club. Concerts, meetings and receptions are held here.
Artist & Historian, Rufus Grider, was instrumental in saving the abandoned Van Alstyne house. Later Grider's own research along with historians Jeptha Simms and Benson Lossing showed that the home had been mistakening idendified as Fort Rensselaer. There is no evidence that the house was
Rufus Grider transformed the house into the area's first museum. In the early 1900s, it became the home of the historic Fort Rensselaer Club. There is no evidence that General Washington ever visited the site.
Also see . . .
1. Van Alstyne Home & Tavern. More information on the Van Alstyne Home is available at this web site, hosted by the Fort Plain Museum & Historical Park.
2. Fort Rensselaer Club. The Fort Rensselaer Club makes its home in the historic Van Alstyne Homestead.
† † †"...(T)he Van Alstyne house (was) originally constructed in the 1730s. A private home for more than 100 years, it survived the ravages of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. In the 1880s it was transformed into an early museum, and in the early 1900s, it became the home of the historic Fort Rensselaer Club.
† † †(G)eneral George Washington was entertained at the homestead after the Revolution in 1783 during his trip through the Mohawk valley."
3. Additional Information from the Historic American Building Survey. The Historic American Building Survey, based on a letter from W. Scott Van Alstyne Jr. of Madison, Wisconsin dated July 16, 1953, identifies this building as having been Fort Rensselaer, aka the Van Alstyne House. The letter states:
Additional keywords. Canajoharie Van Alstyne Homestead Tryon County Nicholas Herkimer George Washington
Categories. • Notable Buildings • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 4,740 times since then. Last updated on , by Norm Bollen of Amsterdam, New York. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.