The house in 2007
|Location||Vails Gate, NY|
|NRHP Reference #||79001616|
|Added to NRHP||1979|
James and Margaret Smith Edmonston came from County Tipperary, Ireland in 1720. After staying seven years in Plymouth, Massachusetts they moved to New Windsor and purchased 200 acres just west of Vail's Gate from the widow Ingoldsby. The Ingoldsby land was part of the early patent held by Capt. John Evans. For a time Edmonston's log cabin was the only house between New Windsor and what would later become Washingtonville.
The family lived in the log cabin until 1755 when the first 2-story stone house was built, followed soon after with a 2-story stone addition. Built in 1755 by Edmonston, it is said that the house was used as a headquarters during the last years of the Revolutionary War by generals Horatio Gates and Arthur St. Clair and also served as the medical staff headquarters for the nearby encampment of the Continental Army. However historian Edward Manning Rutterbur asserts that the medical staff was headquartered at the James Clinton house in New Windsor village, while the officers were billeted in a building across the road from the Edmonston house.
In the 1940s the house suffered a serious fire in the east wing.
Today, the house is managed by the National Temple Hill Association, along with the nearby Last Encampment, a town-owned portion of the Cantonment. It is open as a museum from 2-5 p.m. Sundays July through September.
- Eager, Samuel W., An Outline History of Orange County, S. T. Callahan, Newburgh, 1846
- Barclay, David. Old Houses and Historic Places in the Vicinity of Newburgh, N.Y., Journal Print., 1909
- Ruttenbur, Edward. M., History of the Town of New Windsor, Orange County, N.Y., Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, Newburgh, 1911, p.73
- Ruttenbur, E. M., and Clark, L. H., History of Orange County, New York, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia, 1881, p. 224
- Hudson Valley Vernacular Architecture Newsletter", HVVA, September 2005
- 2007; Edmonston House/Knox's Headquarters Archived November 19, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.; Poughkeepsie Journal; retrieved May 10, 2007.