2015 Geocache Challenge
Johnson Hall was the 1763 Georgian-style estate of Irish immigrant Sir William Johnson (1715 - 1774) and Molly Brant, a Mohawk Indian, and their eight children. Johnson was the largest single landowner and most influential individual in the colonial Mohawk Valley. His success in dealing with the Six Nations of the Iroquois greatly influenced England's victory over France for control of colonial North America. For his service, the British Crown bestowed upon Johnson the title of Baronet, and later appointed him Superintendent of Indian Affairs, a position to which he devoted himself and held throughout his life.
Differing cultures, traditions and languages combined to create a unique life for the Johnson family, with the Hall bustling with activity as home life and business life intermingled daily. Visitors included members of various Indian tribes, sometimes numbering in the hundreds at Council gatherings. The home was the centerpiece of a 700-acre working estate, with gardens, a mill, blacksmith shop, Indian store, barns, slave and servant housing and other essential buildings.
Following the death of Sir William in 1774, Molly and her children left Johnson Hall, and his eldest son John inherited the property and title of Baronet. The Revolution would cause this Loyalist family to eventually flee to Canada, and the Johnson Hall property and most of its contents were subsequently sold at auction following the War. Johnson Hall remained a private residence through 1906, when it was acquired by the State of New York and opened to the public as a State Historic Site. Today, Johnson Hall continues to welcome visitors and interpret the Johnson family through guided tours of the period room settings and of the historic grounds, educational programs and special events.