1 folder+ 10 slides (photographs) and 12 digital images
Mixed archival materials
United States, New York, Albany, Newtonville
The Gardens at Pryun House (Newtonville, New York)
The late Federal/early Greek Revival Pruyn House has public gardens planted and maintained by two garden clubs, the Fort Orange Garden Club, designers of the cutting and habitat gardens, and the Blue Creek Garden Club, which installed and maintained the herb garden until 2009. The gardens feature continuous bloom for the enjoyment and education of the public and to provide plant materials for arrangements in Pruyn House. Traditional annuals and perennials have been propagated elsewhere by members of the garden committee, and they also conduct trial plantings of new or unusual varieties of flowers. The herb garden is arranged formally in rectangular and curved beds around a central circular bed with a sundial. Originally the cutting garden had 14 rectangular beds in a 40 by 80 foot plot with the historic tool shed, which has been renovated. The planting scheme has been modified over the years to remove varieties that were not suited to the sandy soil or the severe winters. The plants are labeled and a comprehensive list is located in the tool shed for the garden's visitors. The habitat garden was created in 2007 to attract monarch butterflies, and features milkweed and brightly colored annuals and perennials.
The original 700 acre property was acquired in 1632 from Native American tribes by Kiliaen Van Rensselaer (b.1580-d.1643) of Holland. There were tenant farmers on the land until 1846 when New York State outlawed the feudal land tenancy system. Over the years the size of the property has been reduced but the land continued to be farmed and gardened by subsequent owners. In 1983 the property was purchased by the Town of Colonie and was placed on the National and State registers of Historic Places in 1985.
Persons associated with the garden include: Stephen Van Rensselaer III (former owner, 1785-1839); Casparus Pruyn (former owner, 1839-1846); Alfred Mayall (former owner, 1849-1866); John L. Henkes (former owner, 1866-1893); John J. Henkes (former owner, 1893-1966); Sid Bailey (former owner, 1966-1981); Fort Orange Garden Club (garden designers and gardeners, 1988- present); Blue Creek Garden Club (herb garden designers and gardeners, 1987-2009).
The folder includes worksheets, histories of the property and owner families, brochures, garden club notes and records, and photocopies of articles.