“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Johnstown in Fulton County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Johnson Hall / The Landscape of Johnson Hall

Johnson Hall / The Landscape of Johnson Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, July 7, 2019
1. Johnson Hall / The Landscape of Johnson Hall Marker
Johnson Hall

A man of Sir William’s position required a grand home to impress his many guests who arrived for political, financial, and diplomatic discussions. Commitments in the French and Indian War(1754-63), however, kept him from implementing a large construction project. In 1758, he erected two stone blockhouses to defend the site of his future residence. These blockhouses eventually served as offices, storehouses, and rooms for servants and slaves.

Construction of Sir William’s new Georgian style mansion began in 1763. Johnson hired Samuel Fuller, a Boston-trained carpenter, to build his fourth Mohawk Valley home. By winter, the house was ready to be occupied and furnished. The house was constructed of “rusticated” wood to resemble stone blocks. Two large rooms on each side on the first floor and second floors flanked its broad hallways. The basement level contained the kitchen and the service rooms.

While the house was under construction, the carpenters also built barns, a summer house, a coach house, and later, an overseer’s house. Mills. Shops for craftsmen, and a number of dwellings
Johnson Hall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, July 7, 2019
2. Johnson Hall
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for servants and tenants followed. The carriage barns, Indian store, stone office, bakery, smokehouse, well houses, and other necessary buildings would have presented a fully working estate. Bark houses were built for the chiefs of the Six Nations for special gatherings and councils.

Johnson Hall was the seat of Sir William’s vast holdings. Visitors were impressed with his fine hospitality and were quite astonished at the first introduction to his manor house, often simply known as “the Hall.” Guests were fascinated by Johnson’s extensive Cabinet of Curiosities, one of the finest collections of native material in the colonies.

Johnson Hall was confiscated as a loyalist property by the State of New York in 1779 and sold at auction. The house remained a private residence until 1906, when New York acquired it as a state historic site. Visitors to the site today can tour “the Hall,” which has been restored to its appearance during Sir William’s occupancy.

The Landscape of Johnson Hall

Visitors to Johnson Hall in the 18th century frequently remarked on its beauty and amenities, including its gardens and neatly ordered fields. Johnson’s correspondence contains many references to particular herbs, roots, vegetables, fruit, and trees that he acquired for his gardens. His gardens were planted with apple, plum, and
View of "the Hall" from the Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, July 7, 2019
3. View of "the Hall" from the Marker
pear trees.

His 2½ -acre garden produced some of the region’s best-tasting fruits and vegetables. Although there are no descriptions of the design or layout of his gardens, we know that he used picket fences and hedges to enclose some of his gardens and fields. We also know that his uncle encouraged him to lay his fields out in regular blocks and to protect them with hedgerows.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial EraSettlements & SettlersWar, French and Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1758.
Location. 43° 0.949′ N, 74° 23.028′ W. Marker is in Johnstown, New York, in Fulton County. Marker can be reached from Hall Avenue. Beside the parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Johnstown NY 12095, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Who Was Sir William Johnson ? (a few steps from this marker); Johnson Hall State Historic Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Johnson Hall 1762 (about 300 feet away); Landscaping Johnson Hall (approx. ¼ mile away); Johnson Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); In Memory of Sir William Johnson, Baronet. (approx. 0.3 miles away); Battle Field (approx. 0.4 miles away); Site of Battle In American Revolution (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Johnstown.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 11, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 10, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 10, 2019, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 20, 2022