NYS OFFICE OF PARKS, RECREATION & HISTORIC PRESERVATION
For Office Use Only--Site Identifier
Project Identifier USN A09303.000240
Your Name Louise Basa and John Wolcott Date September 1, 2006
Address Basa: 1220 Waverly Place, Schenectady, New York 12308 Phone
(518 ) 377-4389
Organization (if any)
1. SITE IDENTIFIER(S) Stanford Mansion Archaeological
Site (see supplemental pages for other names by which the site is
2. COUNTY Schenectady One of the following: CITY
UNINCORPORATED VILLAGE OR HAMLET
3. PRESENT OWNER Ingersoll Residence
Address 3421 State Street, Niskayuna, New York 12304
4. SITE DESCRIPTION (check all appropriate categories):Structure/site
See supplemental pages
Superstructure: complete X partial collapsed not evident
Foundation: above x below (ground level) not evident
x Structural subdivisions apparent Only surface traces
Buried traces detected
List construction materials (be as specific as possible):brick,
Under cultivation Sustaining erosion Woodland x Upland
Never cultivated x Previously cultivated Floodplain
Soil Drainage: excellent good fair x poor
Distance to nearest water from structure (approx.)
Elevation: 411 ft. amsl
5. Site Investigation (append additional sheets, if
necessary): none to date
Surface -- date (s) Site map (submit with form*)
Subsurface -- date(s)
Testing: shovel coring other unit size
no. units (Submit plan of units with form*)
Excavation: unit size no. of units
(Submit plan of units with form*)
* Submission should be 8 ½" by 11",
Manuscript or published report (s) (reference fully):
Present repository of materials
6. Site inventory: a. Date constructed or occupation
period date of construction or occupation period: 1762 to present
b. Previous owners, if known: see supplemental pages
c. Modifications, if known see supplemental pages
(append additional sheets, if necessary)
7. Site documentation (append additional sheets, if
necessary): see supplemental pages
a. Historic map references
1) Name Date Source
Present location of original, if known
2) Name Date Source
Present location of original, if known
b. Representation in existing photography: see supplemental
1) Photo date Where located
2) Photo date Where located
c. Primary and secondary source of documentation (reference
fully): See supplemental pages
d. Persons with memory of site: see supplemental pages
1) Name Address
2) Name Address
8. List of material remains other than those used in
construction (be as specific as possible in identifying object and
material): see supplemental pages
If prehistoric materials are evident, check here and
fill out prehistoric site form. No
9. Map References: Map or maps showing exact location
and extent of site must accompany this form and be identified by
source and date. Keep this submission to 8½" x 11",
USGS 71/2 Minute Series Quad. Name 1954 Schenectady
For Office Use Only--UTM Coordinates
10. Photography (optional for environmental impact
survey): Please submit a 5"x7" black and white print(s)
showing the current state of the site. Provide a label for the print(s)
on a separate sheet. See supplemental pages for descriptions
NYS Historic Archaeological Site Inventory Form Supplemental
Stanford Manor Archaeological Site
(aka: Ingersoll Residence, Stanford Farm, Locust Grove,
Ref.: Ingersoll Historic Structure Report – OPRHP
Project Id: 09303.000006
Item # 4: Site Description
The following information describes the 19th c structure
on the property that is currently occupied by the Ingersoll Residence
(formerly the Ingersoll Memorial for Aged Men). The main house is
the Stanford Mansion purchased and resized by NYS Senator Charles
Stanford in 1865 (Munsell, 1885, p. 193) attaching narrow addition
to the rear.
Ingersoll Memorial purchased that structure from the
Stanford heirs in the 1920s to use as a residence for the elderly.
They did not alter this structure. In the 1930s, the Ingersoll Memorial
attached a large addition to the rear of the existing historic building
(see Item # 7 below). No further additions or modifications have
OPRHP Documents on File for the Structure, Project
Attached to this Form are 4 historic structure forms
that detail information on the 19th c Stanford structure. The most
recent is by Ray Smith, 2006, in which he determined the property
eligible for National and State Registers listing under Criteria
A and C. The other attached documents are: a 1975 Historic Site Inventory
Form and National Register forms with the name of Doris Manley upon
the document, who was with the OPRHP staff, and a 1985 form from
the Niskayuna survey submitted by Frank Taormine.
Item # 6: Previous Owners
In order of ownership from 1762 to the present:
John Duncan, Richard Duncan, Harmanus P. Schuyler,
his heirs, Lemuel Hand, John I. Vrooman, Josiah Stanford, NYS Senator
Charles Stanford, his heirs, Ingersoll Memorial.
Item # 7: Site Documentation
7a. Historic Maps and Surveys – Copies Attached
7a,1) 1771 J. Vrooman Survey Map
Duncan’s house, the Hermitage and property on
the "Schenectady Line"
Reference: "A Tract of Land Granted by his Majesty’s
Patent on the 17th of August 1730 to Arent Bardt and Jacob Glen in
trust for the Dutch Church of Schenectady containing 2627 acres;
Laid down from a scale of 20 chains to an inch; Surveyed at the request
of the Minister, Elders and Deacons of the Dutch Church of Schenectady,
January 29th 1771, by J. Vrooman." [Copy from John Wolcott]
7a, 2) 1893 USGS Topographic Map, Schenectady Quad:
Two structures are located on the former Stanford Farm
in 1893. One is the 19th c "Locust Grove" house and the
other is a small structure on the Balltown Road property line. Topo
maps typically show buildings but not barns.
See Refer to the 1922-24 Plot Plan, the 1930 Randall
map and the 1863 Topo below -- the 400 ft contour interval and triangular
intersection of Balltown Road and State Street provide easy recognition
of the Stanford/Ingersoll property on the 1893 15 min. series since
no labels mark the roads or houses on this older topo.
7a, 3) 1922-24 Plot Plan of the "Schenectady Home
for Aged Men Known as the Ingersoll Memorial" (copied from an
attachment to the 1975 OPRHP Structure’s Inventory Form):
This plan outlines the size of the Ingersoll plot (12.5
acres) at "Stop 6" on the Albany Rd. (NYS Rt. 5) and provides
dimensions of the lot in feet. The former Stanford Manor is in its
historic and current place, centrally located on the lot with 3 interior
roads to the house. The structures in the rear are in the same area
as the "outbuildings" (stables and other uses) shown in
a late 19th c. lithograph (see 7b below). Also, there is an L-shaped
structure on the NW corner of the lot property line along Balltown
Rd. This structure is in the same location as recorded on the 1893
Topo. See 1893 Topo above.
7a, 4) 1930 Randall Map of Schenectady (County Clerks
Historic Background on the Randall Survey: Detailed
surveys for planning purposes were commissioned by Schenectady City/County
in 1930. The resulting maps, surveyed by Randall are a major reference
for the County’s topography in areas undeveloped at that time.
In some areas (e.g.: in Scotia), a complete build-out was planned.
Therefore, some of the streets illustrated are "paper streets" that
were not built.
Relevance to the Stanford property: Randall’s
maps, in this section and many other survey areas, included only
prominent landmark structures. Lot # 8 marks the Stanford/Ingersoll
land and the landmark main house. Randall mapped the topography in
2 foot contour intervals, allowing us to measure the height of the
top of the hill. The structure stands at 411 ft. amsl. See 1893 Topo
7a, 5) 1963 USGS Topographic Map, Schenectady Quad
Geographical and Historical Background: The lower section
of the distinctive triangle formed by the intersection of Balltown
Road and State Street is included in the Township of Niskayuna, Schenectady
County. In this area, part of the boundary between the town and the
City of Schenectady is formed by the southern section of Balltown
Road, with the notable inclusion of the Ingersoll Memorial land in
The Stanford’s residence in Niskayuna is commemorated
on this topo in the names for a residential development, "Stanford
Heights," and for the "Stanford Golf Course." The
latter was formerly the location of NYS Senator Charles Stanford’s
race course and is currently occupied by Mohawk Commons. These vestiges
of the Stanford legacy in 20th c area reflect the impact of the family’s
presence on the neighborhood.
Elevation and Building:
This map clearly shows no alteration in contour elevation
since the survey for the 1893 Topo. The rise of ground on which the
Stanford Mansion was built is prominently mentioned in the local
history of 1885 (see quote from Munsell, below). The Randall map
of 1930 (see 7a, 3 above) and photos (late 19th c and 2005, see 7b
below) confirm the preservation of the hill and the open landscape
around the building.
On the 1963 Map: The building (black infill) is the
Ingersoll Memorial Home with the 20th c extension in the rear that
accommodated growth for its current use.
7b. Representation in existing Photographs and a Primary
7b, 1) A Lithograph of the "Residence of the Hon.
Charles Stanford, Schenectady" (late 19th c.; exact date and
other details of production unknown at this writing) illustrates
the house, paths, barns/stables and treed, park-like landscape. The
enlarged Victorian porch shown in the lithograph was later enlarged
again (see 19th c Photo in 7b. 2 below). Source: A copy of the lithograph
hangs in the front hall of the Ingersoll building.
7b, 2) Late 19th c/early 20th c. photo (Source: Tutorow
7b, 3) 2005 Photos (Photo of Ingersoll building and
grounds by Linda Champagne. Photos of side of structure by John Wolcott.)Comments:
The 19th c narrow addition is visible in the rear of 7b, 1 & 2.
In the 20th c., the Ingersoll enlargement was added onto this earlier
addition. The 2005 photos of the main house (7b, 3) match the 19th
c lithograph illustration of the same house (7b, 1) and show an identical
façade to that in the earlier photo (7b, 2).
7c. Primary and Secondary Sources: See above under
maps and photos for Primary Sources references for these documents.
Also the SHPO Structures forms are listed under Item # 4.
Publications: Tutorow, Norman E. The Governor – Life
and Legacy of Leland Stanford. Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H.
Clark Company, 2004 as cited in "Senator Charles Stanford (1819 – 1885):
Schenectady Businessman, Statesman and Newspaper publisher" by
Garrett Hermanson (Revised 8/05/06). Copies attached.
Munsell, Rev. J.H. (edited and compiled): History of
the County of Schenectady, 1662-1885. "History of the Township
of Niskayuna" by the Rev. E.E. Taylor, pages 192-98.
Quote from Munsell p. 193 (emphasis and reference to
NYS Rt. 5 added)
"John Duncan, a young Scotchman, with his wife,
Martha March, came to Schenectady in 1755. He was possessed of a
good capital, and opened a mercantile establishment on an improved
scale and was very successful … He built a country seat called
the Hermitage (that after his decease burned down) on his farm of
800 acres in the town of Niskayuna, a part of which is at present
owned and occupied by ex-Senator Charles Stanford. The place is on
the Schenectady-Albany turnpike [NYS Rt 5], about three miles from
the City of Schenectady. At the Hermitage, Mr. Duncan died on May
5, 1791, aged 69 years, much esteemed for his generous hospitality
and unostentatious benevolence.
Shortly after the Hermitage was burned down, the place
came into the hands of the Schulyers, who built a house on a rise
of ground about one hundred yards north of the well where the Herimtage
stood – the site of the Hermitage is distinctly marked by its
old well that stood by the door, which the writer was shown while
visiting the place. The Schuylers, after living here a number of
years, sold the place to Captain Hand, and after a few years he sold
the place to John I. Vrooman and he sold it to Josiah Sanford in
March, 1859. Josiah Stanford died in 1861, and in 1865 Senator Charles
Stanford, son of Josiah, brought the place of the heirs, rebuilt,
enlarged and modernized the dwelling, and converted the place into
a first-class stock farm. Mr. Stanford owns several valuable farms,
and is largely connected with many leading enterprises in the City
7 d. Persons with memories of the site:
Helen Briggs, soon to be 95 on September 20, 2006,
retains first hand recollections from the age of 11 of the property,
as seen from the porch of her family’s house from across the
Balltown Road, and to the east of the pasture lot (former Stanford
racetrack.) At that time (1920s), Balltown Road was much narrower.
She and her family could easily see the property and the dominate
feature of towering pine trees, during and after the time changed
hands from the Charles Stanford heirs to the Ingersoll Memorial.
Helen Briggs currently resides at 1429 Garner Rd, Schenectady,
NY 12309. Linda Champagne has interviewed her several times and intends
to record her recollections
Item # 8: List of material remains expected from the
Historic Literature and archaeological experience with Historic sites
With few exceptions, the documents cited above are
primary sources; that is, these are from contemporary surveys and
personal accounts compiled during the period of known Euro-American
occupation and use of the property (1762 to 2006).
In summary, primary sources are:
a) 1771 Vrooman survey with scale (John Duncan’s
home, the Hermitage)
b) 1885 first-hand report on the location of the Hermitage
burned ruins by Rev Taylor (Munsell, 1885) who records the fact that
the Hermitage well was 100 yards distant form the Stanford home.
According to Hermanson (8/06), Josiah Stanford purchased the property
and the 1814 federal style Schuyler residence on the hill in 1861.
In 1865, Charles acquired his father house and property.
c) 19th c lithograph (Charles Stanford Farm – "Locust
d) Late 19th – early 20th c photo (Stanford Mansion)
e) A series of Topographic maps (1893 USGS, 1930 Randall,
1963 USGS) showing no change in land features and the Stanford main
house location from past to present.
f) The 1922-24 plot plan made at the time of sale from
the Stanford heirs to Ingersoll,
g) 2005 Photo for comparison to earlier illustrations
h) The recollections of Helen Briggs (2006)
Archaeological Interpretations of the Historic Documentation
(Louise Basa, 9/06):
From this historic evidence, material remains that
likely exist on the Stanford Manor Archaeological Site are:
House(s) foundations and outbuildings:
The Stanford’s Mansion house that stands today
has a stone foundation; brick and wood are also used. The substantial
wealth, stock raising and passion for racing of Charles Stanford
(see Munsell quote and Hermanson attached) infers that he would have
used stone and/or brick foundations for his stables, carriage houses,
or other unrecorded structures that he built on the property.
Duncan’s Hermitage Home was built in 1762 of
wood (foundation material not recorded) and a good assumption is
that there were also unrecorded outbuildings near his home.
The "Duncan House" is recorded on the January
1771 Vrooman survey map. In the Rev Taylor tells us (Munsell, 1885,
p. 193) that this house burnt after Duncan’s death in May 1771.
The Rev. Taylor’s account describes his visit and the location
of the Hermitage well and door in relation to the Stanford Mansion
Around 1885, Rev. Taylor also records the location
of the 18th c well at the former Hermitage structure. By the time
of Taylor’s visit, this well was not in use (100 yrds from
the Stanford Mansion. From this, we deduce that remains of this brick
or stone lined well should be present on site, as well as wells from
all owners prior to the 20th c.
Since the Hermitage burned, charred timbers will be
preserved. The Schuylers in 1814 built on this property and later
the Stanford families flourished on the crest of the hill. The Rev.
Taylor’s account (Munsell) indicates that they did not build
over the Hermitage. Charred wood preserves very well; so remains
of the Hermitage should be expected.
Good preservation of wood and other organic remains
exists in wells, but also in privy holes. The later should also be
present on the property.
More durable remains:
Trash pits and sheet deposits of historic ceramics
and other household/personal items, along with material remains from
stable and other farm activities from all occupations are expected
below the surface. Approximately, 250 years of known occupation will
leave such remains.
Estate Planning: Although the Stanford residence is
also referred to as a "farm," the following facts indicate
the importance of landscape planning comparable to other estates
of the latter half of the 19th c:
-- Choice of the prominent location on the hill and
large size of the structure in the1860s,
-- Victorian elaboration, and,
-- Emphasis on horse barns (see late 19th c lithograph)
and racing (Stanford private race course on land adjacent to the
Recovery of landscaping plant and tree seed remains
would allow for reconstruction of the orchards and gardens recorded
on this property during a time when this area was "rural" out
side the limits of Schenectady in the mid-late 19th c. Such amenities,
at least the fruit trees and landscape plantings, existed on the
Charles Stanford Farm (see late 19 c. lithograph and photo).
By the 20th c, the 1922-24 Plot Plan lists fruit orchards
and vegetable gardens on the remaining 12.5 acres. At this time,
the City limits are closer to the junction of the Albany-Schenectady
and Balltown Turnpikes, a major transportation hub. An abandoned
orchard is currently on the property and there are old trees that
may date to the time the Stanfords lived on the property.