Description - On several occasions during the Revolutionary War, Major General Henry Knox established military headquarters at John Ellison's 1754 Georgian-style house in Vails Gate. After the war and into the 19th century, the Ellison family had important commercial dealings in milling and trade that extended to New York City and as far as the West Indies. At present, remains of the mill and the Jane Colden Native Plant Sanctuary may be toured Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Copyright: New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
Knox's Headquarters State Historic Site
- On several occasions during the Revolutionary War, Major General Henry Knox established military headquarters at John Ellison's 1754 Georgian-style house in Vails Gate, from which he commanded the artillery of George Washington's army. From October 1782 until the spring of 1783, as 7,000 soldiers and 500 "camp followers" were establishing winter quarters at the New Windsor Cantonment, and General Washington was lodged at Jonathan Hasbrouck's house in Newburgh, Major General Horatio Gates occupied the elegant home from which he commanded the cantonment. Here the army awaited the end of the Revolutionary War that became effective when Washington issued the cease fire orders on April 19, 1783.
For most of the 18th and into the 19th century, the Ellison family had important commercial dealings in milling and trade. From their mill, flour was shipped down the Hudson River to New York City and the West Indies. At present, remains of the mill, with traces of the underground racecourse, and the Jane Colden Native Plant Sanctuary may be visited. Explore how the Ellisons and other families of the mid-Hudson Valley lived 200 years ago.
Recreation - Knox's Headquarters State Historic Site offers visitors demonstrations, educational services, period costumed interpreters, manicured gardens, group tours, guided tours, hiking trails, picnic area, re-enactments and interpretive signage. Several features including the picnic area are handicapped accessible. The historic site is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, Wednesdays-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays 1-5 p.m. Admission is $3.00 adults, $2.00 NYS senior citizens and $1.00 children. Group and school tours by advance reservation. $1.00 per person for school children, $2.00 for chaperon / teacher. The site is also open by appointment.
Climate - The historic site experiences average January temperatures above 22 degrees Fahrenheit (above -6 degrees Celsius). Summer temperatures average around 72 degrees Fahrenheit (around 22 degrees Celsius). Precipitation in the region ranges from 40 to more than 44 inches of rain and snowmelt. The central Catskills receive the highest precipitation.
Knox's Headquarters is located west of the Hudson River in Vails Gate off SR 32.