Johnson Hall State Historic Site

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Johnson Hall
Johnson Hall, Johnstown, NY.jpg
Johnson Hall State Historic Site, 2006
Johnson Hall State Historic Site is located in New York
Johnson Hall State Historic Site
Johnson Hall State Historic Site is located in the United States
Johnson Hall State Historic Site
LocationJohnstown, New York
Coordinates43°0′54″N 74°22′58″W / 43.01500°N 74.38278°W / 43.01500; -74.38278Coordinates: 43°0′54″N 74°22′58″W / 43.01500°N 74.38278°W / 43.01500; -74.38278
ArchitectPeter Harrison (1716-1775)
Architectural styleGeorgian
NRHP reference #66000520
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHLOctober 9, 1960[2]

Johnson Hall State Historic Site was the home of Sir William Johnson (1715–1774) an Irish pioneer who became the influential British Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the Province of New York, known for his strong relationship especially with the Mohawk and other Iroquois League nations.

Johnson Hall is located at Hall Avenue, West State Street and Johnson Avenue, in Johnstown, New York.


Early-20th century painting of an older event at Johnson Hall
The same site in 1940 shown in 1903 painting

The house was built seven miles from the Mohawk River, close to Hall Creek.[3] Hall Creek provided water sufficient to power a sawmill and later a grist mill. Built of wood, the house frame was covered with wood planks intended to simulate stone. Johnson engaged leading colonial architect Peter Harrison (1716-1775) to design the house; he hired the carpenter, Samuel Fuller, to build it.[4] At least some of the ideas for the house came from the Builders' Companion magazine. Johnson also had two block houses built as defenses against attack on the frontier, as the British had just ended the Seven Years' War with the French.

Johnson founded Johnstown, New York, and came to own a 400,000-acre (160,000 ha) estate. Johnson moved here from Old Fort Johnson in 1763 and lived here until he died in 1774. The house was inherited by his son, John Johnson. During the American Revolution, the rebel government in New York seized Johnson Hall because the Johnsons had gone to Canada as Loyalists. In 1779 the state sold the house to Silas Talbot, a migrant from New England.[5]

It was used as a private residence by various owners until 1906, when the state bought it for preservation and interpretation as a house museum of the most important colonial landowner in the state. It received restoration in the early twentieth century and in the 1950s, to remove additions of the late nineteenth century and better reflect its original time. The historic site includes more than 18 acres of land.[5]

Johnson Hall State Historic Site, August 2005

The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.[2][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ a b "Johnson Hall". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
  3. ^ Pownall, Thomas (1776). A Topographical Description of Such Parts of North America as are Contained in the (annexed) Map of the Middle British Colonies & in North America. J. Almon. p. 11.
  4. ^ Hamilton, Milton W. (1976). Sir William Johnson: Colonial American, 1715–1763. Port Washington, New York: Kennikat Press. p. 313. ISBN 0-8046-9134-7.
  5. ^ a b c Charles H. Ashton and Richard W. Hunter (October 15, 1984). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Johnson Hall National Historic Landmark" (pdf). National Park Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 14 photos, exterior and interior, from 1984. (2.96 MB)

External links[edit]