John Jay, in a Gilbert Stuart portrait, 1794. Courtesy John Jay Homestead State Historic Site
The Jay Heritage Center
John Jay, the only great Founding Father native to
New York State, grew up on a farm in Rye, New York. From that place
of beautiful open space, trees, ponds, fields, and Long Island
Sound shore, Jay went on to his extraordinary career of public
service. He was the only Founding Father to serve his country in
every branch of government. His efforts led to the adoption of the
U.S. Constitution and to the writing of the Bill of Rights. He
served as our first Chief Justice; he was President of the
Continental Congress, and he negotiated the Treaty of Paris ending
the Revolutionary War. John Jay's life was moved entirely by
The farm where John Jay spent his formative years is
now the home of the Jay Heritage Center, a not-for-profit education
corporation. The property's natural area on Long Island Sound and
its more formal upland estate are Westchester County parkland. The
elegant Peter Augustus Jay house, a Greek Revival house built in
1838 by John Jay's son, and the Carriage House on the property are
owned by the Jay Heritage Center. The Center is now rehabilitating
these two historic buildings.
The site is also home to the Marshlands Conservancy,
a 157-acres nature sanctuary in Westchester County, which
encompasses woods, pond, field, shore, and an extensive saltmarsh
on Long Island Sound. Within the woods of Marshlands Conservancy is
the cemetery where John Jay and Peter Jay and their descendants are
The project comprises photographs of the Jay Heritage
Center buildings and grounds, several brochures about John Jay, the
Jay Heritage Center, the John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, a
paper on the Jay Treaty, a newsletter, newspaper clippings, and
several portraits of John Jay.
Originally submitted by: Nita M. Lowey,Representative (18th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.