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Duanesburg in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Home of William North

 
 
<center>Home of William North Marker<br> Duanesburg, N.Y.</center> image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 25, 2008
1.
Home of William North Marker
Duanesburg, N.Y.
Inscription.
Home, Erected 1784
- Of -
William North
Born 1755 Died 1836
—————————
Soldier Throughout The
Revolution
Aide De Camp To Baron Steuben
Adjutant General Of The Provisional
Army Under Washington
1798
Speaker Of The New York Assembly
1795 - 1796 - 1810
United States Senator
1798
Member of the First Canal
Commission 1810 - 1816
. . . . .
Erected By
State of New York
Schenectady County Historical Society
And Schenectady County Pomona Grange
1934


 
Erected 1934 by State of New York, Schenectady County Historical Society, and Schenectady County Pomona Grange.
 
Location. 42° 45.227′ N, 74° 6.813′ W. Marker is in Duanesburg, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is at the intersection of North Mansion Road and Duane Lake Road, on the right when traveling north on North Mansion Road. Touch for map. Marker is mounted on a large stone set in the lawn and easily seen from the road. The marker(s) and the North Mansion are on Private Property. The homeowner was gracious enough to discuss
Home of William North Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 14, 2008
2. Home of William North Marker
aspects of the home and permit access to the property for photos. (Please respect the homeowner's privacy.). Marker is at or near this postal address: 558 North Mansion Road, Duanesburg NY 12056, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Christman Sanctuary (approx. 0.9 miles away); a different marker also named Christman Sanctuary (approx. 1.1 miles away); Christ Episcopal Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); William North (approx. 2.4 miles away); James Duane (approx. 2.4 miles away); a different marker also named Christ Episcopal Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); Duanesburg Reformed Presbyterian Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); Toll Gate #3 (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Duanesburg.
 
Regarding Home of William North. The North Mansion is located on a hilltop on the south shore of Duane Lake, at the intersection of North Mansion Road and Duane Lake Road on what was once a 1,000-acer estate. The North Mansion served for several years as the manor house to the estate. It was here that much of the town business was carried out and here, too that such eminent visitors as Baron Von Steuben were entertained. A finely crafted example of Federal style architecture, the home
Home of William North Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 25, 2008
3. Home of William North Marker
The Marker is affixed to the large stone on the lawn; the North Mansion is in the background.
is unique in the town of Duanesburg.

William North (born in Fort Frederick, Pemaquid, Maine, in 1755) first achieved prominence during the American Revolution. He was with General George Washington at Valley Forge and at the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown Heights and he served as aide-de-camp to Baron Von Steuben who later made North his adopted son, heir and executor of his estate. In 1783 North retired from active military service. He later married James Duane's eldest daughter, Mary, and then came to Duanesburg in 1788 to assist in managing Duane's vast estate and began to develop the 1,000-acer estate that they received from her father as a wedding gift. He dammed the Bozenkill and build a gristmill and also created a small lake then known as "North's Pond" and overlooking its shores he built his house. The present Duane Lake was created by developers in the 1920s.
Tradition had claimed that the North Mansion was built in 1784, as stated on the 1934 marker, and recorded in the Historic American Building Survey in June of 1936. (Recorded in the Historic American Buildings Survey as the "General William North House, North Mansion Road, Duanesburg, Schenectady County, NY") However research done in the early 1980s to support the North Mansion's nomination to the National Register of Historic Places found information in North's papers in a correspondence which
Home of William North image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 11, 2008
4. Home of William North
The east side of the North Mansion with the formal entrance.
documents the home as being built later, closer to 1791. The 1815 letter states, "My house has been built about 24 years..." which would indicate the mansion had not been completed before 1791, as indicated on the National Register plaque mounted on the home.

On a local level, North played a significant role in the development of Schenectady County. He was a commissioner of the Western Canals which established the Erie Canal, and a director of Schenectady County's first bank, the Mohawk Bank. As a commissioner of the Cherry Valley Turnpike (part of US Route 20 in the area), he played a central role in founding the village of Esperance, just west of Duanesburg. He vigorously promoted establishment of Schenectady County and when that occurred in 1809, he was chosen as the first assemblyman to represent the county and, in 1810, was again elected speaker. He was also the first chairman of the county board of supervisors.

North retired from public life in 1816, and thereafter divided his time between Duanesburg and New York City until his death New York City on January 3, 1836. He is buried in the Duane vault beneath the Christ Episcopal Church in Duanesburg.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. The New York State William North Marker stands in front of the Christ Episcopal Church beside US Route 20 in Duanesburg.
Home of William North image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 11, 2008
5. Home of William North
The south side of the North Mansion which overlooks Duane Lake.

 
Also see . . .
1. North Mansion and Tenant House. Nomination form submitted for the North Mansion to be listed on the State & National Registers. (Submitted on December 6, 2009, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.) 

2. North Biography at Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. (Submitted on December 6, 2009, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
3. North Mansion and Tenant House. Photos of the North Mansion on Archiplanet web page. (Submitted on December 7, 2009, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.) 
 
Additional keywords. Washington, Steuben, William North, James Duane, Duanesburg, Route 20, Erie Canal Commission, von Steuben
 
Categories. GovernmentMilitaryNotable BuildingsNotable PersonsPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & SettlersWar, US Revolutionary
 
Home of William North image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, November 7, 2009
6. Home of William North
The southwest corner of the North Mansion.
Home of William North image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 2, 2009
7. Home of William North
The northside of the North Mansion as seen from nearby Duane Lake Road.
Gen. William North Mansion image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 11, 2008
8. Gen. William North Mansion
The General William North Mansion was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 24, 1987 as the "North Mansion and Tenant House." This plaque is mounted beside the porch-covered southern entrance to the home.
"Gen'l William North House" image. Click for full size.
Collection of J. Connor
9. "Gen'l William North House"
"Gen'l William North House, Duanesburg, NY Built 1784." A hand-colored postcard.
The General William North House image. Click for full size.
Historic American Buildings Survey, June 1936
10. The General William North House
The General William North House has been documented in the Historic American Buildings Survey.
William North Memorial Marker image. Click for full size.
Historic American Buildings Survey, June 1936
11. William North Memorial Marker
William North is buried in the Duane Family crypt below the Christ Episcopal Church in Duanesburg. This memorial plaque, which is mounted inside the church, reads as follows:

"In Memory of William North, a Patriot of the Revolution, He entered he Army of his country in his nineteenth year, and was among the first of that generous band who in youth stepped forth in defense of her liberties, and devoted their manhood to her service, as an officer he served throughout the war in various grades, till at the peace which confirmed his country's national existence, he retired to private life, whence he was called by the voice of his fellow citizens, whom he served in various civil capacities. He was Aide Du Camp to the Baron De Steuben, Adjutant and Inspector General of the Army commanded by Washington in the year 1798; one of the first canal commissioners, Speaker of the House of Assembly, and Senator in Congress of this his adopted state. A pure patriot, a brave soldier, and exemplary citizen, Born in Maine in 1755; Died in the City of New-York, Jan 3rd, 1836"

The location of North's death in "the City of New-York" is contradicted by the North biography found in the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, which claims North died in Duanesburg.
General William North image. Click for full size.
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
12. General William North
Born in Fort Frederick, Pemaquid, Maine, in 1755
Died on January 3, 1836
William North Home Marker Dedication Program image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous
13. William North Home Marker Dedication Program
Sesqui-Centennial
General North Mansion
This program from the General North Mansion marker dedication, held on September 22, 1934, details the events of the dedication ceremony to include a play by the WGY Players. This document from the Archives of the Duanesburg Historical Society.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 6, 2009, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 1,013 times since then and 53 times this year. Last updated on February 14, 2010, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on December 6, 2009, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   13. submitted on November 28, 2015, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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