Built in 1777, this northern plantation was the economic engine showcasing Philip Schuyler's wealth and success. Enslaved people and paid laborers worked in the timber mills, flax mills, grist mills, gardens, and herring fishery, providing the income to sustain this upper class family. Today, the estate stands as a testament to those who toiled, and to evolving times. For the 2022 season, the house is open for guided tours at 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am, and 11:30 am and an Open House from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday through 9/5/2022. From 9/9/2022 to 10/22/2022, the house will be open for guided tours at 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am, and 11:30 am and an Open House from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
During its open season, visitors can explore the house as a self-guided experience with staff and volunteers on hand to answer questions. The length of your experience is entirely up to you, but the average visit is between 20-30 minutes. When the house is closed to the public, the grounds are open for exploration between sunrise and sunset.
The house is open seasonally, please call (518) 670-2985 for more details.
All are welcome!
Pets are allowed on the grounds of the Schuyler House as long as they are leashed.
Visitors are required to clean up after their pets and waste bags are provided on the premises. Pets are not allowed inside the house.
Schuyler's Saratoga Estate is located on US Route 4, just south of the Village of Schuylerville and the Fish Creek. This property is located in the "Old Saratoga" unit of Saratoga National Historical Park.
Traditional Open Season: Memorial Day to mid-October, as staffing permits.
Grounds are open from sunrise to sunset, daily. Please call the visitor center at (518)670-2985 for seasonal operating hours.
Restrooms: two partially accessible outdoor restrooms are available in the parking area on site - the stalls are wide enough, but doors into the restrooms are not automatic. Restrooms are only available during the summer season when the house is open to the public.
Parking: two spaces available at head of walkway leading to Schuyler House
Walkway: accessible packed stone dust pathway from parking lot to the front door of the house.
House: The historic structure of the house only permits first-floor tours for visitors unable to navigate stairs.
—Major General Philip Schuyler
6 November 1777
Philip Schuyler (1733-1804) wrote those words about his love of country life when he took up residence in what he called his “commodious box.” He built it hurriedly in the frosty autumn of November 1777 to replace its predecessor, which was burned by the British only a few weeks before.
Restored by the National Park Service, Philip Schuyler’s house is a tangible reminder of the village of Saratoga’s founding family—now known as Schuylerville, having been renamed for the Schuyler family in 1831.
As a member of the Continental Congress, an influential New Yorker, and an experienced officer, Schuyler was given the rank of major general on June 19, 1775—making him third in command under George Washington and commander of the Northern Department of the Continental Army. In the summer of 1777, as British forces overwhelmingly swept down the Champlain and Hudson Valleys, Schuyler was blamed for the loss of Fort Schuyler and the American Army’s retreat. Despite his shrewd tactics to impede the British advance, Congress replaced Schuyler with General Horatio Gates on August 19, 1777, one month before the Battles of Saratoga. Notwithstanding this personal setback, Schuyler helped the army from his mansion in Albany by forwarding supplies and encouraging reinforcements northward.
Wearied by many personal attacks and sacrifices, plagued with recurring illness and having no active command since being relieved by Gates, Schuyler resigned from the army in 1779. However, he continued to provide vital support by organizing and financing military campaigns, advising Washington, and continuing to serve in the Continental Congress.
After the Revolutionary War, Schuyler remained active in business as well as state and national politics, but his real interests took an important turn: with visionary acumen he became one of the staunchest supporters for canal construction. Although he died before his dreams of successful canals came to be, Philip Schuyler is known as a father of United States canals.
The estate was originally part of the 1684 Saratoga Patent of 168,000 acres granted to seven New Yorkers (Schuyler owned 24,000 acres). Through Schuylers and purchase the “farm at Saratoga” eventually came to Philip’s grandfather, Johannes inheritance. This bustling farm, left in the care of Johannes’s oldest son, was obliterated by a raiding party of Indians and French Canadians in 1745. Almost all of the community’s enslaved and free people (over 100) were captured; Johannes’s oldest son and heir to the Schuyler fortune was killed on the spot. Philip Schuyler became the family’s new heir.
From a second house built in the 1760s, Philip turned the remnants of the ruined farm into a busy farming, milling, and merchandising center, worked by tenants, enslaved people, and artisans (notably Scottish immigrants). With his wheat, flax, and hemp crops, award-winning linen mill, sawmills, herring fishery (transporting fish to sell as far away as Jamaica and Antigua), and general store selling goods and services, Philip’s Saratoga community and personal wealth grew substantially. Just like in 1745 though, the house, mills, and most of the buildings were destroyed on October 10, 1777, but this time by retreating British forces following the Battles of Saratoga.
Following the surrender of British forces in Saratoga on October 17, 1777 and departure of tens of thousands of troops from the area, Philip immediately began to plan the rebuilding of his Saratoga house and farm out of its charred remains. Since December’s winter was approaching fast, his new “cheaply and speedily erected” house was completed within the weeks of November. It was built upon the existing foundation of a burned building and used fresh-cut lumber from his upper sawmill. Paying high wages for labor from all over Albany County, and even by using some captive British soldiers (who knew masonry), the plain, unrefined house was finished, but it was much smaller and simpler than the one to which Philip was accustomed. As time went on the house grew in size and comfort, with structural additions and finishing coats added to cover the naked interior and exterior.
The Continuing Tradition
Throughout Philip’s life and since, this house has been the destination of many visitors, some of whom were famous citizens. George Washington (godfather of daughter Catherine Schuyler), son-in-law Alexander Hamilton (who married daughter Elizabeth Schuyler), Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and the Marquis de Schuyler visited this house, to name a few. Now, following in their footsteps, tens of thousands of people from all over the world continue to learn about the general, the visionary, and the man who was Philip Lafeyette.
Last updated: August 19, 2022