Fort Crailo

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Fort Crailo
Front elevation and north profile, with work underway on entrance walkway, in 2010
Fort Crailo is located in New York
Fort Crailo
Location 9½ Riverside Ave, Rensselaer, NY
Coordinates 42°38′7.72″N 73°44′58.65″W / 42.6354778°N 73.7496250°W / 42.6354778; -73.7496250Coordinates: 42°38′7.72″N 73°44′58.65″W / 42.6354778°N 73.7496250°W / 42.6354778; -73.7496250
Built c. 1712
Architectural style Colonial, Dutch Colonial
Governing body New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
NRHP Reference # 66000563
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHL November 11, 1961[2]

Crailo State Historic Site, is a historic, fortified brick manor house in Rensselaer, New York which was originally part of a large patroonship held by Kiliaen van Rensselaer, c. 1585–1643. Crailo is a Dutch word meaning Crow's Woods (Kraaien bos), and refers to the Rensselaer's Estate in Huizen, Holland, also named Crailo.[3]


This property was inherited by Hendrick van Rensselaer, Kilian's grandson, who built the house in 1707. It was expanded in 1762. Starting as early as 1663 through the 18th century, this site had become synonymously known as Greenbush. At various times, the grounds were used as a campground for British and colonial troops.[4]

It is reportedly the place where, in 1755, British Army surgeon Richard Shuckburgh, quartered in the home, wrote the ditty "Yankee Doodle" to mock the colonial troops who fought with the British in the French and Indian Wars.

Fort Crailo was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.[2][5]

It is operated by the State of New York as the only museum of the Colonial Dutch in New York State. Exhibits include clothing, furniture, household and decorative items, and archaeological artifacts from "New Netherland" historic sites in New York and New Jersey. Addresses given for the house include 9½ Riverside.



  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b "Fort Crailo". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-12. 
  3. ^ Spooner, pp. 189
  4. ^ New York State Military Museum[1]
  5. ^ James Dillon (1983). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Fort Crailo PDF (303 KB). National Park Service.  and Accompanying photos, exterior, from 1965. PDF (1.27 MB)

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