Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The History of the Robert Jenkins House

T. Eric Galloway has overseen the community-focused activities of the Lantern Group since the nonprofit’s establishment in 1997. In 2012, T. Eric Galloway partnered with Henry van Ameringen to launch the Galvan Foundation, which seeks to improve the quality of life for Hudson, New York, communities through grantmaking, architectural conservation, and various other social initiatives.

A $25,000 award from the Galvan Foundation’s July 2014 round of grantmaking allowed the Hendrick Hudson Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) to restore the exterior of the historic Robert Jenkins House. Originally constructed in 1811, the Robert Jenkins House boasts a history dating back to the founding of Hudson.

The home sits on land originally purchased by Seth Jenkins Sr., the first mayor of Hudson, who, along with his brother Thomas, was one of the city’s founding proprietors. The land eventually passed to Seth’s son, Robert Jenkins, who built the house that now shares his name. Like his father, Robert Jenkins was a key member of the burgeoning Hudson community, serving as the city’s third and fifth mayor and filling various other political and civic roles.

The Robert Jenkins House became the permanent home of the Hendrick Hudson Chapter of NSDAR on May 15, 1900, when Frances Chester White Hartley presented it to the organization. Mrs. Hartley was not only one of the chapter’s charter members, but also one of Robert Jenkins’ grandchildren; in fact, she was born in the house. Since then, subsequent renovations and restorations have developed the house into the only museum in Hudson. It is now the site of the Robert Jenkins House Genealogical, Research, and History Reading Room and houses a variety of historical artifacts relating to the history of Hudson, the whaling industry, and the American Civil War.

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