In l702, Samuel Waldron (youngest son of Resolved Waldron of New Amsterdam and later Harlem) purchased a slice of Manhattan farmland then known as Hoorn's Hook which is located five miles north of the tip of Manhattan. Today a section of that land seats Gracie Mansion-The People's House, official home to the Mayor of the City of New York, (Michael Bloomberg restored it in 2002). The history of how "The People's House" came to be is fascinating New York City history and holds special meaning for so many of us whose families have called New York home for centuries.
A decade would pass before Samuel Waldron would move to his new acquisition. After selling his deceased father's farm at Van Keulen's Hook in Harlem inherited in l690, Samuel increased the size of his Hoorn Hook farm by 115 acres and moved there with his family. In l720 he would increase the size of the family farm again when he purchased another ten acres from a Dutchman, Peter Van Oblienis. At his death in l737, Samuel Waldron owned 156 acres of Manhattan.
This Manhattan wilderness land where Waldron and his wife Neeltje Blootgoot/Bloodgood (Daughter of Francis Bloodgood of Flushing) made their lives was first owned in part by another Dutchman, Sybout Claessen who was granted 5 acres in l646 calling the place Horne/Hoorn Hook after his hometown in the Netherland. Claessen and the Waldron may well have been acquainted long before the land deals as both Claessen and Samuel's father, Resolved, were at the same time inhabitants of New Amsterdam.
In l770 the Waldron family sold a portion of the farm to Jacob Walton who built a large house that later was commandeered by George Washington's troops. A woman's tears were shed long before the Battle of Harlem Heights. An old news article tells of Jacob Walton's wife bursting into tears when evicted from her beautiful home. Mrs. Walton's tears and sacrifice are remembered February 22nd as we commemorate George Washington's birthday. Eventually the Walton family heirs would sell the property to Scottish born Archibald Gracie, an affluent New York City merchant who, utilizing the Walton's foundation, built up his new country house in l799. This was the birth of Gracie Mansion - The People's House.