How Plattsburgh’s Only Historic House Museum Came To Be
When Fannie Hall died on October 4, 1913, it was the end of the Delord family. In her will, she left her “historic relics” to a museum. Fannie also left the house to the Physicians Hospital. For the next ten years, her faithful servant Catherine Dowling served as caretaker of the house, protecting and preserving not only the house but also Fannie’s historic relics.
The historic relics included heirlooms from her father’s family, the Webbs, from her own Delord family including some of the original 1811 furnishings, and objects from her own collection. All of these relics are available at the Museum today.
It is thanks to Jeannette Brookings Tuttle, a civic activist and local historian, that the Kent-Delord House with its precious family heirlooms have been preserved. As Regent of the Saranac Chapter of the Daughters of American Revolution, Mrs. Tuttle launched a campaign in 1914 to raise a maintenance fund and asked William H. Miner, a local millionaire inventor, to buy the house to preserve it as a Museum. It took ten years of convincing, but Miner bought the home in 1924 and immediately started the restoration process.
After spending thousands of dollars in restoration, William H. Miner established a Board of Trustees to administer a trust fund he provided to operate the house as a Museum. The Kent-Delord House Corporation, starting in 1928, obtained a provisional charter as an educational institution from the Regents of the University of New York, and was later granted the absolute charter on March 18, 1938.
Today the Museum is filled with portraits, furniture, dinnerware, books, letters and personal items owned by three generations of the Delord family. Stop by the Museum and see what we are all about!
The mission of the Kent-Delord House Museum is to provide unique educational experiences based on authentic objects and stories of the Delord family.
Visitors to the Kent-Delord House have the opportunity to connect with the past in a 200 year-old building still in its original form. In these rooms, it is easy to imagine that you are standing in the footsteps of Judge Henry Delord when he entertained Commodore Thomas Macdonough and General Alexander Macomb in 1814.
Here you can explore the challenges of daily life set against a backdrop of a new country at war. This is a place to learn of the Delord family’s hopes, struggles and fears through a century of war and then peace and then war again.
This is where history comes to life!