Presidents’ Day – Did You Know?
The house at 695 North Broadway was the home of Joseph Drexel, who played an important role in President Ulysses S. Grant coming to the area to write his memoirs.
This beautiful Italianate style home was originally built by James H. Wright, a merchant tailor, in 1876.
Joseph Drexel, who partnered with J. Pierpont Morgan to form the Drexel Morgan Bank, purchased the property in 1879. Drexel built a narrow-gauge railway from the intersection of North Broadway and Van Dam Street to Mount McGregor where he constructed a four-story hotel, the Hotel Balmoral.
Grant was dying of cancer and needed a place to write his memoirs, in hopes of providing for his family after his death. Drexel, who was good friends Grant, invited Grant to stay at a cottage on Mount McGregor so he could have a quiet place to write. Grant died two days after completing his memoirs, on July 23, 1885.
You can visit the Ulysses S. Grant Cottage, which is furnished exactly as it was on the day Grant died, from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. You will also be treated to stunning views of the Hudson Valley.
PS – Next time you walk by 695 North Broadway, be sure to check out the carriage step that still remains on the north side of the porch.