Old Fort House (Fort Edward, New York)

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Old Fort House
Old Fort House (Fort Edward, New York) is located in New York
Old Fort House (Fort Edward, New York)
Old Fort House (Fort Edward, New York) is located in the United States
Old Fort House (Fort Edward, New York)
Location29 Lower Broadway, Fort Edward, New York
Coordinates43°15′40″N 73°34′51″W / 43.26111°N 73.58083°W / 43.26111; -73.58083Coordinates: 43°15′40″N 73°34′51″W / 43.26111°N 73.58083°W / 43.26111; -73.58083
Area4.5 acres (1.8 ha)
Architectural styleGreek Revival, Federal
NRHP reference #83001826[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 15, 1983

Old Fort House is a historic house at 29 Lower Broadway in Fort Edward, Washington County, New York. The house is owned by the Fort Edward Historical Association and operated as a local history museum.[2] In 1983 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Revolutionary War[edit]

The Old Fort House is a two-story, five bay, center hall frame building, with a shallow gambrel roof. It is one of the oldest wooden frame structures in Northern New York and was built in 1772 by Patrick Smyth from timbers salvaged from Fort Edward. Major General Philip Schuyler inspected the old fort during the Saratoga Campaign five years later, and determined that it was in no condition as a place to make a stand against General John Burgoyne, and consequently sought a location farther south. Schuyler placed Benedict Arnold in command of the army's advance guards at Fort Edward. Arnold arrested Smythe for being a Loyalist.[3]

Baroness Frederika Charlotte Riedesel, accompanied her husband, General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel, who led a regiment of soldiers from the Duchy of Brunswick, attached to Burgoyne's army. In her memoirs, she describes the Old Fort House as "the Red House".

The house was used as headquarters by both the British and American during the Revolutionary War.[4] It also played host to various notables such as George Washington and James Madison.[5]

Solomon Northup[edit]

Between 1830 and 1834 Solomon and Anne Hampton Northup lived in Fort Edward and Kingsbury.[6] The couple first set up housekeeping in the Old Fort House, which is described in his memoir, Twelve Years a Slave, as "the old yellow building".[7] Northup's memoir was adapted as the PBS television movie Solomon Northup's Odyssey (1984) and the Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave (2013).[8]

The building suffered severe fire damage in 1943.

The Old Fort House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.[1]


The Old Fort House is part of a 17 building museum complex with 5 structures; the Old Fort House Museum, A. Dallas Wait Law Office, Cronkhite Pavilion, Riverside Schoolhouse and Baldwin Barn Gallery open for tours daily in the summer months. It was listed as one of the best house museums in Northeastern New York and New England by author William Hosley.

Each summer the Museum hosts an Annual Country Fair & Antiques Auction.


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Raymond W. Smith (August 1983). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Old Fort House". New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Retrieved 2010-06-12. See also: "Accompanying seven photos".
  3. ^ "Old Fort House Museum", Fort Edward Historical Association
  4. ^ "Old Fort House Museum", National Geographic Society
  5. ^ "Fort Edward Photo Tour", Fort Edward Chamber of Commerce
  6. ^ "Solomon Northup, Kingsbury, Washington, New York". United States Census, 1830. National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved 29 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Old Fort House Museum", I Love NY, New York State Department of Economic Development
  8. ^ Cieply, Michael; Barnesmarch, Brooks (March 2, 2014). "'12 Years a Slave' Claims Best Picture Oscar". The New York Times.

External links[edit]