JOHNSON HALL

 

Passing westerly along Hall Avenue we come to Johnson Hall built by Sir William Johnson in 1762, One of two Baronial Mansions now standing in the United States, Old Fort Johnson being the other.  It was flanked by two stone forts on the westerly side, which was most exposed to attack, one of which forts is still standing.
 
The Hall and about eighteen acres of land was purchased by the State of New York in 1907 and placed in the custody of the Johnstown Historical Society.  Opposite the Hall was the usual camping place of the Indians who came to see Sir William Johnson.

The visitor to the interior of the Hall will find many things of historic interest.  Here may be seen the upper chamber in which St. Patrick's Lodge, F. & A. M. was instituted, in 1766, where, with Sir William as Master, the Lodge met before the erection of a building for its use.  Attention will be directed to marks made by the Indian Chief Brant with his tomahawk on the mahogany stair-rail leading to the second story, which appear from top to bottom.  As to what moved Brant to these acts of vandalism, there are conflicting traditions; one that he left the marks for a sign to the Indians not to burn the house; the other that, assembled in the upper hall with friendly Indians and hearing the approach of a company of militia, he left in haste and rage, inflicting savage blows in malice.  This historic mansion was the scene of great activity during the life of Sir William and the center of an influence which largely shaped the destinies of the United Colonies.  Many Indian councils were held here within a circle of locust trees still standing in front of the Hall.

The original highway came up along the creek and passed just in front of the Caretaker's Cottage.  Just east of the cottage is an old black walnut tree said to have been planted by Sir William; just east of the stone arch bridge was the site of Sir William's Grist Mill and just west of that were the quarters for his servants and slaves.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton WOMEN'S CONSORTIUM
P.O. Box 251        Johnstown, New York  12095        www.ecswc.org       LizDeclares@gmail.com
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