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The HancocK House
The Hancock House:
The Hancock House was a gift from native son and prominent philanthropist Horace Moses (1862-1947).
His success in the paper industry helped him contribute much to Ticonderoga, including the Liberty Monument, Community Building and the Hancock House. In building the Hancock House he achieved one of his lifetime ambitions to establish a museum with a library that would make Ticonderoga a focal point for public interest in the region’s nationally significant history.
Moses wanted to reproduce a historic building of stone, a material more fire resistant than a wooden structure, so that it would protect valuable furnishings and records.
Max Westhoff, a revival-style architect and preservationist, prepared the designs for a Georgian mansion replicating Thomas Hancock’s (uncle to John Hancock) famous Boston residence.
John Hancock, second president of the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence and later Governor of Massachusetts, was a wealthy merchant and his Colonial home was built in 1737.
John Sturgis made measured drawings before the original Beacon Street home was destroyed in 1863.
The reproduction at Ticonderoga was dedicated on August 21, 1926, with around 3,000 people attending.
The exterior is built of Weymouth granite. Atmospheric and weather conditions seem to change the color of this stone, producing the illusion that sometimes the building is grey, cast in green or blushing to rose.
Attention to detail in reproducing the original house has been used in the interior, especially in the main hall and stairway and in the two rooms to the right of the hall, which are duplicates of those in the earlier Hancock House.
The beautiful Great Parlor reflects the grandeur and craftsmanship from the mid 1700s.
An interesting feature of these rooms is the color scheme. Contrary to the popular belief that everything colonial should be painted white, gray was a very popular finish in these early days, and the walls and woodwork of these rooms are finished in an off-tone gray that is in the best eighteenth century American taste.
The Ticonderoga Historical Society today manages this elegant structure as a regional museum and reference library.
There are interesting and exciting exhibits on all four floors of the Hancock House, including the Harmon Art Gallery.
The Gallery is in a former bedroom located off the Washington Bedroom. The exhibit gallery is named after Miriam Harmon.
The modern library houses a large collection of regional material on civic, social and economic elements and also has one of the largest collections of genealogical resource materials in the region.
An original table has been gifted from a descendant of Sarah Quincy Greenleaf, sister to Dorothy Quincy, John Hancock’s wife.
The table is made from Birdseye Walnut, supported by eight boldly-turned and tapered legs with brass castors. Two separate sliding stocks and three replacement leaves are part of this significant and historical piece of furniture. The attending documentation for the table notes that it could be extended to approximately 30 feet. The chairs are from the Society’s collection.
Our current furniture collection includes original pieces and reproductions. Today those reproductions which Mr. Moses commissioned with the head of the American Wing of NYC Metropolitan Museum and recognized as “Sloane Collection,” are highly recognized and considered perfection in their craftsmanship. The desk & bookcase at left have been on numerous tours but are now back at home in the Hancock House.
Our plantings on the side lawn of the Hancock House include the ever popular parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, as well as bee balm, tansy and scarlet runner bean. Plants in our Colonial garden were traditionally used for treating a variety of ailments as well as culinary seasoning.
Leaves and flowers of some of these types have been shown to contain antioxidants and plenty of flavor.
Not all are edible so please don't eat from the garden! Some of our plants may cause burning, itching, sweating, or diuretic properties. A guide to each planting is available upon request inside the Hancock House.
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