March 15, 2010

Please Help Save The Wonderful John Jay Homestead

Down the road from my home in Bedford is the 62-acre John Jay Homestead Historic State Park. John Jay, who lived from 1745 to 1829, was one of America's principal founding fathers.  Jay was a co-author of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the revolutionary War, and also the Federalist Papers, which aided ratification of the US Constitution.  He served as president of the Continental Congress, as US Secretary for Foreign Affairs, first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, and as the second governor of New York State.  In 1801, after his distinguished career in public service, John Jay retired to Bedford, where he created a comfortable home and a working farm.  After his death, this profitable farm was looked after by four succeeding generations of the Jay family, before it was turned into a state park.

Throughout the years, the John Jay Homestead has been used as an important educational tool for area students and many organizations hold festivals and meetings upon the grounds.  With the ongoing fiscal crisis in New York State, there has been talk of closing many state parks and historic sites, including the John Jay Homestead.  The thought of closing any of these wonderful spaces makes me very sad, but with John Jay Homestead right down the road, it hits very close to home.  For anyone interested in keeping this historic site open to the public, please visit